US-backed force in Libya face challenges:
US-backed force in Libya face challenges: Extremism a growing problem in security vacuum since Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall. This is a great article about conflicting and ill-coordinated security forces in Libya and provides an overview of the primary complexities of turning the Supreme Security Committee or the Libya Shield Force into a professional gendarmerie with a coherent command and control structure that could address Libya’s Security woes.
After committing $8m to help build a counterterrorism force in Libya, the US now faces a difficult choice: work through a weak government that has so far proved unable to build a national army and police force from the thousands of former rebels who have operated as militias since Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall – or work with the militias themselves.
Last week, a US embassy delegation, led by CIA operatives, travelled to Benghazi to meet and recruit fighters directly from the Libyan Shield, a powerful umbrella organisation of militias, according to Fathi al-Obeidi, a commander of the group. The Libyan Shield provided the rescue force that assisted the US mission in Benghazi on the night of the attack, and Obeidi said that his fighters represent the most viable local option for a special unit.
Violent clashes between rival militias, including those that fall within larger umbrella groups such as the Libyan Shield and SSC, are near daily occurrences. Last weekend, gun battles shut down a neighborhoodof the capital as the SSC used machine-gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades to tame one of its own groups that had begun arresting and torturing members of the community.
ibyan Shield forces wear army fatigues and drive “National Army” trucks but privately dismiss the chief of staff as a lame duck. Meanwhile, the SSC militias frequently don police uniforms, even as commanders say they often act unilaterally.