NEXT COLD WAR ROUNDUP: RIVAL LIBYAN ARMIES PREPARE FOR SIRTE BATTLE, PENTAGON REVEALS US TROOP DEPLOYMENT | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

NEXT COLD WAR ROUNDUP: RIVAL LIBYAN ARMIES PREPARE FOR SIRTE BATTLE, PENTAGON REVEALS US TROOP DEPLOYMENT

The Obama administration and the Pentagon revealed that US special operations forces have been deployed in Libyan “outposts” for months along with other western forces. Multiple armies are preparing for an attack on ISIS (and possibly each other) in Sirte.

_ The Obama administration, via favored mouthpieces the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, via official but anonymous sources, broke the news to the American public that we have troops in Libya and we have established bases (referred to in euphemistic terms like “outposts” rather than bases and “stationed” rather than “deployed”). “American Special Operations troops have been stationed at two outposts in eastern and western Libya since late 2015, tasked with lining up local partners in advance of a possible offensive against the Islamic State, U.S. officials said.” The stated goal is “to bring Libya’s feuding factions together behind a fragile new unity government” but they also say the troops are “assessing security conditions so that, if a broader mission takes place, the United States can move in additional personnel more safely” and to ” avoid Libya becoming like Syria.” US special operators are working in “parallel” with similar elite forces from other western countries. Although the Washington Post says this has not been reported before, it has been reported in other outlets for a number of months.

_ The Washington Post(WaPo) reported that there are three different forces preparing to advance on ISIS-held Sirte: Militias from Misrata as part of a unity govt. command center, Gen. Hifter’s army (does not recognize unity govt.) and the man who was the prime minister of the western part of Libya in Tripoli before the UN-appointed unity government moved in. WaPo reports via anonymous American officials that they are not happy about US allies supporting Hiftar’s army, including France and Egypt.

_ The Wall Street Journal article is commentary from Carnegie’s Fredereic Wehrey, giving more detail about rival factions and the three factional command centers preparing for the Sirte battle. “In some cases, the West may find them unsavory partners: traffickers, hard-line Salafists, tribal supremacists, military officers with authoritarian and anti-Islamist leanings.” Wehrey said the Misrata brigades are relatively weak and advises the US to only proceed if the three command centers are working in coordination. Wehrey describes the “politicization of the anti-ISIS struggle,” that factions get resources and arms in the name of fighting ISIS when they are really most interested in fighting their local rivals, and the risk of empowering factions that may not agree to disarm and support the unity government after the battle is over (as happened with the 2011 NATO regime change operation.)

_ Reuters reports that the Misrata brigades, the fighting force for the unity government (previously supported the govt. in Tripoli) are preparing to attack Sirte whether they have “international logistical support” or not. Brigadier General Mohamed al-Gasri said “Whether they’re going to support us or not, we will be there soon. We will not stand and watch.” The unity government had advised to wait for a coordinated command room with the Hifter army who are also preparing for Sirte “though past announcements have come to nothing.”

_ The Economist calls it the “scramble for Sirte”. “Each side sees the fight against IS as an opportunity to bolster its standing—at the other’s expense.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is without a doubt that we can see Obama's "liberation" of Libya was an absolute, unmitigated disaster; the next great US military misadventure in Libya will be yet another spectacular failure as well.

President Obama will be seen by the long, unblinking eye of history as one of the worst presidents ever, regarding both his foreign and domestic policies.

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