As Libya continues its deadly spiral into lawlessness and bloodshed — most recently illustrated when Islamist militias gunned down protesters in the capital city of Tripoli last week, or when the “prime minister” was kidnapped last month — the Obama administration has a new plan to bring order out of chaos. After having handed the smoldering ruins of Libya to a gaggle of radical Islamists and al Qaeda-linked fanatics by helping oust and summarily execute despot Moammar Gadhafi, the U.S. government is now working on a scheme to train Libyan “troops” and “security forces.” All of it will help the embattled Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic regime cement its loose grip on power as it enforces sharia law.
Critics of the controversial scheme are warning that it risks further empowering Islamic terrorists with advanced U.S. military training. Of course, other problems with the missions include the absence of any constitutional authority to train foreign forces, as well as the fact that Washington, D.C. is already on the verge of drowning U.S. citizens in odious debts that can never be repaid. However, with the disastrous effects of the Obama administration’s United Nations-approved unconstitutional war on Libya becoming clearer by the day, the surge in violence and chaos is being seized upon by policymakers as an excuse to justify further foreign intervention.
According to Adm. William McRaven, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, the U.S. government plans to train between 5,000 and 7,000 Libyan “security” personnel. The scheme will include both conventional troops and “counterterrorism forces.” Speaking during a terror-war panel discussion at the Reagan National Defense Forum, however, Adm. McRaven acknowledged that there would be “risks” inherent in boosting the capabilities of Libyan forces — particularly the very real prospect that U.S. taxpayer dollars will again be used to arm and train al Qaeda-linked jihadists.
“As we go forward to try and find a good way to build up the Libyan security forces so they are not run by militias, we are going to have to assume some risks,” McRaven said at the event, referring to the lawless bands of Islamist militants armed and trained by the Obama administration amid the war on Gadhafi. “Right now we have the authorities to do that training, and I think as a country we have to say there is probably some risk that some of the people we will be training with do not have the most clean records. But at the end of the day it is the best solution we can find to train them to deal with their own problems.”
Other than dealing with the nightmare unleashed in the wake of Obama’s recent UN-backed “regime change” scheme against former U.S. terror-war ally Gadhafi, it was not immediately clear why American taxpayers and troops should be responsible for helping Libyans “deal with their own problems.” Also unclear was what purported “authorities” the Obama administration believes it has to further train Libyan forces — though the lack of legitimate authority has proved unable to restrain the warmongering thus far. How much the scheme will cost also remains a mystery at this point.
What other governments might participate in building up the Libyan regime’s monopoly on force has not yet been decided either, according to officials cited in media reports. A Carnegie Endowment associate who supports deepening U.S. government involvement in the Libyan fiasco, however, writing at the Council on Foreign Relations’ publication, reported that authorities from Turkey, Italy, and the United Kingdom have committed their populations and forces to the effort.
As far as what “authority” purports to justify U.S. government involvement, proponents point to executive-branch machinations recently discovered by lawmakers aimed at easing U.S. anti-terrorism protections. “We still haven't gotten to the bottom of the Benghazi terrorist attacks and continue to face additional terrorist threats from Libya, yet the Obama administration is preparing to lift a long-standing ban that protects Americans and our interests,” noted House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). “The Obama administration should focus its attention on getting answers to the lingering questions surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attacks and ensure that Americans are kept safe and sound.”
Even though Adm. McRaven said top U.S. military leaders were aware of the “risks,” he told the Washington Free Beacon that the plot was already in its “early phases.” The controversial program will reportedly be carried out through the relatively new “U.S. Africa Command,” also known as Africom, with support from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. Apparently much of the training, however, will take place on European soil — possibly owing to fear stemming from the Benghazi attack that left the U.S. ambassador and several other Americans dead. Another reason for setting up the schemes outside of Libya could be a recent raid on U.S. military supplies that resulted in militias stealing advanced American weaponry.
Ironically, perhaps, though hardly surprising: The controversial training announcement came just a week after Libyan “Justice Ministry” documents exposed the creation of a “council” to ensure that the new regime’s laws were strictly adhering to Islamic sharia. In other words, following a long pattern that has accelerated quickly under the Obama administration, American taxpayers will again be financing the imposition of sharia law by force on a hapless population — large swaths of which were, to some extent at least, better off under the tyrannical but largely secular rule that preceded Obama, NATO, and al-Qaeda’s “regime change” scheme. Among other changes, women will be relegated to second-class citizenship, along with non-Muslims.
In addition to the looming U.S. training for Libyan “security,” functionaries serving the emerging European Union super-state are reportedly already on the ground in Libya training paramilitary forces under the “Defense Ministry.” Supposedly part of an effort to prevent the nation from becoming a so-called “failed state” — a development that analysts say occurred years ago — the EU claims the plot is a “civilian” effort to support Libyan border guards and maritime forces. The controversial EU mission will also be supported by military experts and “public relations” (propaganda) operations paid for by taxpayers, according to media reports.
As The New American and, more recently, media outlets around the world have been documenting, with the ouster of Libya’s brutal strongman, the Libyan people now find themselves under the bloody reign of a patchwork of revolutionary Islamist warlords with perpetually shifting alliances. Many of the “militias” have been put on the new regime’s payroll in an apparent effort to purchase loyalty, but the chaos throughout Libya continues to grow. On November 15, for example, heavily armed Islamist gunmen fired on anti-militia protesters in Tripoli, reportedly killing several dozen and wounding almost 500.
In early October, meanwhile, a U.S. government raid captured alleged al-Qaeda operative “Abu Anas al-Libi.” Ironically, the jihadist, who could live openly in Tripoli after the regime-change operation, was in hot water partly for possession of a terrorist manual outlining a scheme to overthrow “apostate” strongmen such as Gadhafi and Syria’s Bashar al Assad — well before the Obama administration and other foreign powers openly joined the effort. In what reportedly may have been a response to Libyan regime cooperation in the seizure of al Libi, militias then proceeded to kidnap Libyan “Prime Minister” Ali Zeidan. The chaos and death toll in Libya are still on the rise.
Unsurprisingly, the establishment's Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the UN, the Obama administration, and other forces are working hard to get American taxpayers and troops more deeply involved in the Libyan fiasco that the establishment was largely responsible for producing in the first place. In the CFR’s Foreign Affairs journal, for example, Carnegie Endowment senior associate Frederic Wehrey calls on Washington to “heed those who argue that the mission [to train new Libyan regime forces] should be accompanied by broader assistance designed to help Libya work through the economic and political challenges that underlie its insecurity.”
A much better plan, though, would be for the U.S. government to stop meddling in the affairs of foreign nations. Washington, D.C.’s history of lawless and anti-constitutional interventionism speaks for itself: bloodshed, massacres, chaos, empowering future enemies, supporting dictators, and more. Each round of intervention, meanwhile, always seems to require more intervention to deal with the consequences. With American taxpayers already on the hook for some $17 trillion in debts, not to mention the thousands of U.S. troops killed, it is past time for policymakers to try a new approach.
Photo of Libyan soldiers: AP Images
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at