Op-Ed: West forges links with Libyan militias to fight the Islamic State
My post on the shift from a political to a military approach in Libya was discussed in a recent Digital Journal article. The piece reviews my argument that recent Libyan National Army gains have largely halted all political peace efforts. It also explores the implications of my writings outlining local claims for a plan to retake Sirte, possibly coordinated to be co-ordinated by Western special forces.
Pack claims the UN plans are “being overtaken by events” in that there are already plans being made to confront the Islamic State without any authorization from the GNA. Pack claims local sources say Mahdi Al Barghathi, the proposed GNA minister of defense; Salem Juha, former high Misrata military commander; and Bashir Budhafira of the Ajdabiya border guard, along with other fighters, plan to retake Sirte. Pack claims it is likely that these forces will be co-ordinated by US/UK special forces.
The UN is unlikely to give up on the GNA. Too much time, effort, and commitments have already been invested. Many of the military actions described by Pack may be preparatory for a later larger military operation that is obviously being planned. Bombings may help to weaken the Islamic State but so far they have been quite limited. The RAF is carrying out surveillance missions. While at present the UN has been unable to force through approval of the GNA, it will no doubt keep trying to do so. However, the longer the failure of the UN to have the GNA approved and then up and running in Tripoli, the more the west may decide to intervene militarily without approval of the GNA. While both present governments claim to oppose military intervention they have in effect allowed it and will no doubt allow more.
To read my full post, click here.
To read the full Digital Journal piece, click here.