“We were dragged along by a French enthusiasm to intervene, and the mission then moved from protecting people in Benghazi, who arguably were not at the kind of threat that was then being presented… Indeed, on the basis of the evidence we took, the threat to the people of Benghazi was grossly overstated.”
Crispin Blunt, chairman of the committee
A UK parliamentary report has severely criticised the intervention by Britain and France that led to the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The foreign affairs committee accused the then PM David Cameron of lacking a coherent strategy for the air campaign.
“This report determines that UK policy in Libya before and since the intervention of March 2011 was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the country and the situation.
Other political options were available. Political engagement might have delivered civilian protection, regime change and reform at a lesser cost to the UK and Libya. The UK would have lost nothing by trying these instead of focusing exclusively on regime change by military means.
Having led the intervention with France, we had a responsibility to support Libyan economic and political reconstruction. But our lack of understanding of the institutional capacity of the country stymied Libya’s progress in establishing security on the ground and absorbing financial and other resources from the international community.
The UK’s actions in Libya were part of an ill-conceived intervention, the results of which are still playing out today.”
The evidence base: Intelligence
“The possibility that militant extremist groups would attempt to benefit from the rebellion should not have been the preserve of hindsight. Libyan connections with transnational militant extremist groups were known before 2011, because many Libyans had participated in the Iraq insurgency and in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda. (Paragraph 28)”
The evidence base: our assessment
“We have seen no evidence that the UK Government carried out a proper analysis of the nature of the rebellion in Libya. It may be that the UK Government was unable to analyse the nature of the rebellion in Libya due to incomplete intelligence and insufficient institutional insight and that it was caught up in events as they developed. It could not verify the actual threat to civilians posed by the Gaddafi regime; it selectively took elements of Muammar Gaddaf’s rhetoric at face value; and it failed to identify the militant Islamist extremist element in the rebellion. UK strategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence. (Paragraph 38)”
Sarkozy’s motivation: Self-Interest
“A further insight into French motivations was provided in freedom of information disclosure by the United States State Department in December 2015. On 2 April 2011, Sidney Blumenthal, adviser and unofficial intelligence analyst to the then United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reported this conversation with French intelligence offers to the Secretary of State:
According to these individuals Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:
a. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
b. Increase French influence in North Africa,
c. Improve his internal political situation in France,
d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
e. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddaf’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.
The sum of four of the five factors identified by Sidney Blumenthal equated to the French national interest. The fifth factor was President Sarkozy’s political self-interest.”
RELATED POST: Hillary’s Email Reveals Truth about Libya Bombing
As I wrote previously, the email of Sidney Blumenthal to Hillary Clinton was far more specific:
“This gold was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar.
This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).
French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.”
‘The United Nations has brokered an inclusive Government of National Accord. If it fails, the danger is that Libya will sink into a full scale civil war to control territory and oil resources. The GNA is the only game in town and the international community has a responsibility to unite behind it.”
RELATED POST: LIBYA: What is going on?
Again, as I wrote before, this is NOT was is going on.
Western countries — US, UK and France – are operating in Libya. Officially, they are supporting the GNA with a lot of words. In reality, it appears that their military forces are supporting the rival of that government: General Khalifa Haftar.
Let us close this post with some ‘GOSINT’. Prior to the Italian invasion of 1911, the area of Libya was administered as three separate provinces (“Vilayets”) of the Ottoman Empire: Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica. [WIKIPEDIIA]
Maybe, somebody has decided that such division of Libya was the best that could be managed at this point…