Trump Aide Calls For Partition of Libya
In an exclusive article published by the Guardian, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Julian Borger, provide some fascinating anecdotes about the behind-the-scenes political jostling currently taking place to influence the Trump administration’s policy towards Libya.
A senior White House foreign policy official has pushed a plan to partition Libya, and once drew a picture of how the country could be divided into three areas on a napkin in a meeting with a senior European diplomat, the Guardian has learned. Sebastian Gorka, a deputy assistant to Donald Trump under pressure over his past ties with Hungarian far-right groups, suggested the idea of partition in the weeks leading up to the US president’s inauguration, according to an official with knowledge of the matter. The European diplomat responded that this would be “the worst solution” for Libya.
Gorka is vying for the job of presidential special envoy to Libya in a White House that has so far spent little time thinking about the country and has yet to decide whether to create such a post….Gorka’s rivals for the envoy job include Pete Hoekstra, a former congressman and lobbyist, and Phillip Escaravage, a former US intelligence official who worked on Libya for more than a decade. Escaravage is generally considered to be the clear favourite to take on the unpaid role. He is believed to have put forward a peace proposal heavily dependent on tens of billions of dollars in western financial support.
Politco Magazine published a response by Geoff Porter to the Guardian’s claims that Gorka plans to push for partitioning Libya. Porter makes the case against partition and explains why partitioning Libya into its pre-oil, Ottoman-era provinces, is not as simple nor as desirable a solution as it sounds.
Despite all of this, perhaps you still think creating three new countries is a good idea. But you don’t have to look very far to find instances where this approach has been a disaster. This is especially the case when oil is involved. Case in point: South Sudan, which not only fought a calamitous 20-year war for independence from Sudan that reignited over oil less than a year after winning independence, but is now engulfed in a civil war of its own and failing. Do we really want to be flirting with the prospect of more failed states in the Sahara? After all, failed states are hothouses for jihadi salafis who are already abundant in Libya and the Sahara. We should be working to limit their areas of operations, not creating new ones for them.