The US is now allergic to Libya – Foreign Policy sums up the failure of the US intervention

Washington officials, who recently boasted about invading Libya, are now hypocritically ignoring the chaos-ridden country

The US is now allergic to Libya - Foreign Policy sums up the failure of the US intervention

Democrat Barack Obama was among those bragging about Libya’s dubious achievements. During the 2012 presidential campaign, he regularly pointed to the role he played in overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi.

But the price of this US-led adventure has risen considerably in the decade since Washington sanctioned the use of force in Libya through the UN on the pretext of “protecting civilians from the dictator’s potential atrocities”, Foreign Policy writes. For the sake of overthrowing Gaddafi, Western countries supported local fighters but failed to keep them under control. In the end, Libya’s security vacuum was quickly filled by armed groups, Islamist extremists and human traffickers.

Libya has now become a major regional exporter of instability and chaos. But the U.S., which had recently campaigned for the security of Libyans, is now hypocritically ignoring the South African country, the piece says. For many Americans, the invasion was “a symbol of the limitations of US power and the folly of military intervention”. It`s a factor that casts a dark shadow over the lives of many former and current officials. Moreover, it undermines arguments for new foreign campaigns when the US is stockpiling resources to confront China.

Today, Washington is “allergic to Libya”, said Jeffrey Feltman, who served as US assistant secretary of state for Middle Eastern affairs at the time of the invasion of Libya.

“If we were faced with a situation like Libya today, I think it would be very difficult to make the same decision as in 2011”, –  he believes.

Libya today is more than just a battleground between the so-called Government of National Accord with loyalist militants and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army. The interests of many powers, including Turkey, Qatar, Egypt and the UAE, also clash here. Given the hopeless crisis, Western countries can hardly speak of a successful Libyan intervention.

Gérard Araud, former French representative to the UN: “Let’s be cynical. Frankly, I really think it would have been in my national interest to hold on to Gaddafi. We had a dictator, but a stable dictator who closed the gates to African refugees.”


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