Our leadership at the White House, CIA, Pentagon, and State Department are unbelievably incompetent, reckless, and corrupt. I just can’t make this up. In another example of the absolute rampant stupidity emanating from the White House and Department of Defense, it appears US policy is now to conduct another unsanctioned military invasion of Libya ostensibly to fight ISIS. Apparently, the US is preparing to provide weapons and training to support select Libyan forces to help them repel the radical Islamic forces Washington previously backed in Libya in 2011. You read that correctly. Just like in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, the US is now arming factions to fight the very same radical Islamic jihadist factions it armed and supported just five years prior. Watching this train wreck of policy unfold, I can only sarcastically ask, “what could go wrong?”
Let’s take this from the top. Back in 2011, President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and a few other incompetent leaders that included Susan Rice and Samantha Power decided it was a good idea to back radical Islamists in their efforts to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi. Not only was this an unconstitutional war against a sovereign nation, but we backed the wrong side and used a “lead from behind” military strategy, which had to be one of the dumbest ever conceived by our brilliant military leadership. I literally had standing bets with senior military commanders to include the senior staffer for the Chief of Naval Operations that the Libya invasion would end in disaster. It wasn’t long before he emailed me and admitted that it was indeed a mistake of epic proportions. Soon our diplomatic enclave in Benghazi was wiped out and not much later we had to completely evacuate our embassy in Tripoli as Libya collapsed into a full-fledged failed state created by Obama, Clinton, Rice, and Power.
Fast forward a few years and Libya remains an utter disaster zone, which has become the North African hub of ISIS. Like I warned, the weapons that were looted from Gaddafi’s armories found their way across the region and supercharged regional instability. Every radical Islamic faction from Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Shabab in Somalia, to ISIS in Syria has received heavy weapons from Libya. Further, the multitude of factions and tribes Gaddafi unified with an iron fist continue to fight amongst themselves with no end in sight. As much as the Obama Administration would like to crown the next puppet government of Libya, there is no single official recognized government in Libya. In fact, the militias, tribes, and terrorist organizations all hold more power independently than any unity government the US Department of State has been meeting with in Malta. Contrary to what the White House has tried to spin, Libya is a failed stated.
This brings us to 2016. Obama and the Democrats are desperately trying to reestablish our diplomatic presence in Libya so they can spin it as a success before the presidential elections in November. Everyone knows that a failed Libya will be a huge problem for Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy and national security bona fides if she is the Democrat nominee for president. Further, a huge amount of oil is sitting in Libya that a lot of people would like to get their hands on. This wasn’t so much of an issue until it became clear that ISIS was systematically taking over most of the key oil fields. A growing ISIS footprint in Libya with the means to finance itself through oil meant only more instability was going to spread throughout the region and our problems with radical Islam, now at the edge of Europe, were only going to get worse. To remedy this, a “brilliant” plan was developed by our leaders in Washington to conduct the same failed strategy that obliterated Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Washington’s plan is to use Special Forces and the CIA to pick some “moderate” elements in Libya to support. Then, using the old foreign internal defense (FID) chapter from the completely useless and failed counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine’s playbook, we will use special operations forces, ground branch CIA officers, and some other paramilitary elements to arm, train, and equip these select “moderate” factions. In exchange for our military support, you can guarantee US defense contractors and choice oil companies will get a free pass to make lucrative profits off of the bloodshed while a forced diplomatic footprint is reestablished to officially declare success. However, like every single time before, this plan will brilliantly fail and will lead to far greater bloodshed for Libyans as well as any Americans that get involved on the ground.
I am here to again give you a very clear warning. Stay out of Libya. It will be a disaster. It was bad enough that we got involved in their business and deposed a leader that had actually become an ally and replaced him with radical Islamists. Do you honestly believe that the same leaders that created the failed Libyan state are now somehow intelligent enough to fix what has become a far more dangerous and complex situation? We are talking about the same leadership that has repeatedly proven across the globe that it cannot manage these types of conflicts. I can’t stress it enough. Getting involved in a failed state still in the middle of a multi-factional civil war using a very limited number of forces and led by the amateur ideologues in Washington will be another spectacular failure. Sadly, the template for failure in Libya is very predictable. It will follow the same pattern for escalation I correctly predicted in Iraq when President Obama was still “promising” America “no boots would be on the ground.” Obama is a liar. See: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2015/10/30/america-is-fed-up-with-obamas-lies-american-puts-boots-on-ground-in-syria-as-predicted-by-lms/
Here is roughly how it will play out. At first, propaganda such as we need to stem the flow of refugees, stop ISIS, and other bogus rhetoric will be provided to justify the operation. The US will then insert a limited number of forces in Libya that will meet some people, collect some intelligence, and establish a small footprint, but they will not be able to change a thing. As that footprint expands from what most likely will be an airbase, we will conduct some targeted raids and drone strikes on ISIS forces, but again to no strategic effect. Frustrated, the US will add more forces and some of these people will probably get killed trying to support one nasty radical Islamist faction against a slightly more nasty and radical Islamist faction. Their deaths will be used to justify an even greater deployment of forces into Libya, which then will take on the look of a full invasion and occupation force to “stabilize” Libya. Nonetheless, no significant game changing effects will have been achieved. Parallel to the heavier military involvement will be the reestablishment of a diplomatic presence in Tripoli. This will be conveniently timed to declare “success” just as the US enters the critical last few months before the presidential election. This will be crucial if Hillary Clinton is the Democrat candidate in order to white wash her horrific foreign policy record as the worst Secretary of State in living memory. At this point or shortly thereafter, the US will try to play its hand and pick Libya’s new leadership by helping to wipe out the competition. We will undoubtedly pick the wrong side to back because we have ideological morons in charge. Note that some of the competition that we will double cross and turn on has up until now, supported the US. These groups include General Haftar’s army and the Zintan militia. Both have actually provided noteworthy support to the US and were at least at one point capable of stabilizing large sections of Libya. In fact, General Haftar is actually a naturalized US citizen and has been on the CIA’s payroll since the 80’s. He is one of our guys, but as such, should know better than to trust that we won’t screw him when forming the new Libyan government. I can promise they won’t be happy with the new government arrangement. “When” we turn on them, but fail to eliminate them, we will have hell to pay. Up until that point, Libyans will be completely divided along tribal and factional lines. After that point, Libyans will unify around expelling the occupiers and turn on the US. At this point, if our operation hasn’t already failed in a spectacular way, things will very quickly deteriorate. Without any doubt, after the US taxpayer was forced to provide billions of dollars in weapons and training to the Libyans (really to US defense contractors if we want to get technical); the Libyans will take our training and those weapons and attack us and anyone else that looks even remotely Western and/or Christian. Once we are forced out, the entire region will then collapse into even more violent chaos with no one other than ISIS with enough power to reestablish control over the region.
I don’t know who will be the next president, but if we continue to increase our involvement in Libya, that president will have to deal with a disaster far worse than Benghazi. If that president is smart, he or she will walk away from the current strategy in Libya as quickly as possible. If not, the president should fire everyone on his or her NSC staff because we will be sucked into another military quagmire that we will not be able to extract ourselves from without considerable loss of prestige and influence to mention nothing of lives and capital. The US cannot afford this conflict and does not have the time, money, will, or strategy to see the operation through to success. As such, we should not get involved. We have far bigger problems and the best way to start solving them is to first stop creating them. In closing, you should be asking if there is a viable strategy for Libya. My answer is yes, but unfortunately, until there are major changes in our leadership, which is so thoroughly incompetent and corrupt, it is impossible to conduct any successful foreign policy. Therefore, the absolute best policy anyone can recommend under the current political situation is to do nothing in the remote hope that Washington won’t screw anything else up and maybe the Russians or someone else equally fed up with our egregious bungling of world affairs can clean up our mess.
By Guiles Hendrik
May 18, 2016