Despite Government funded militias taking pot shots at eah other with AA guns and fighting in the streets - Great Satan is fixing to pop the cherry on the NLA - the New Libyan Army!!
As its name implies, it is meant to be a regular infantry, focused initially on securing government installations and protecting officials. But what Libya really needs is a more specialized, gendarmerie-type service to tackle border security, illicit trafficking in narcotics and weapons, and low-level insurgency. It does not need another bloated, conventional military force that sits in its barracks -- a far too common occurrence in the Arab world, where armies’ self-entitlement and insularity have proved unhealthy for democracy. The country also needs an effective, civilian-controlled National Security Council to oversee and de-conflict the functions of all of its security bodies, including border guards, oil facilities protection forces, and the police.*Yessir - that would sweet no doubt - yet why is Great Satan doing this?
Having learned in Iraq that occupying Arab lands is bad for everyone’s health, the US helped free Libya of Muammar el-Qaddafi without suffering even one single casualty. We did it all from the skies. The ground was thick with indigenous rebels, so no American ground troops were required. Qaddafi had no friends to come to his rescue and he stood no chance with his feeble and outdated hardware.
But then we lost Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others during the long Libyan aftermath, when a terrorist group tied to al-Qaeda attacked the US consulate in Benghazi. It happened on the same day—not coincidentally, on September 11th—that mobs of fanatical Salafists waving al-Qaeda flags rioted and set fires all over the region, using a ludicrous anti-Muhammad video uploaded to YouTube by a crackpot Egyptian “filmmaker” no one had ever heard of before as a pretext.
For reasons that still don’t make any sense, American officials falsely claimed the Benghazi incident was the result of yet another protest riot gone out of control. But there was no protest or riot in Benghazi related to that video, contrary to Washington’s initial clumsy and mendacious public statements.
Unlike in Egypt and even Tunisia, nobody in Libya protested against the United States for “allowing” a so-called blasphemous video to be uploaded to YouTube. The only demonstrations in Libya that week were against radical Islamists, against the terrorists that murdered Ambassador Stevens. The citizen groundswell against Benghazi’s Islamist militia was so intense that its members had to flee into the desert.
Libya is a traditional and conservative place, but that does not mean it’s Islamist. Two out of three Egyptians voted for Islamist parties in the post-Mubarak parliamentary elections, but in Libya, the National Forces Alliance, a moderate centrist party, won the most seats in 2012. The Justice and Construction Party—the political vehicle for Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood—only won ten percent of the vote. The Brotherhood isn’t quite as irrelevant in Libya as, say, the Green Party is in the United States, but it’s close.
Libya’s people are not just by and large against the Islamists. They are perhaps friendlier to the West in general and the United States in particular than anyone else in the Arab world.
It makes sense if you think about it. Under no theory can the United States be held responsible for Qaddafi’s crimes and repression. He was a self-declared enemy of America on the day he took power, and he’d still be tormenting his hapless citizens like a sadistic mad scientist if Americans hadn’t provided air support for the rebels. He received no money, no weapons, no training, no diplomatic cover—nothing—from the United States.
Every bad thing Libyans ever heard about Americans came from the internal propaganda organs of the man who kicked them in the face every day for forty-two years. At least some of their geopolitical views resemble those of Eastern Europeans under the communists—if the Americans are the enemies of our tyrannical government, how bad can they be? They are as pro-American as we could ever expect Arab Muslims to be.
Libya under Qaddafi had far too much government. Now it does not have enough. The previous regime was one of the most repressive on earth, and when it went down, most institutions—including the army—went with it. The state and its security forces are therefore too weak. They’re being rebuilt from scratch and won’t be finished for years.
There is no reason in the world for the US not to associate with or help Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and his colleagues. On the contrary, if the government can’t establish a monopoly on the use of force in the lawless parts of the country, Libya could end up an incubator of terrorism like Somalia, Yemen, or Mali, despite the fact that most of its people want nothing to do with it.
An HQ for AFRICOM in Africa would be nice too.
Pic - "Libya faces the challenges of building democratic institutions, protecting the universal rights of all Libyans, promoting accountable and honest government, rebuilding its economy, and establishing security throughout the country."
* - Those slanted words were slanted by me