Cynical Synapse

Fri, 16 Sep 2011

Mission Distraction Redux: Train the Libyans

Filed under: Africa, Allies, Arab states, Budget, Global War on Terror, Government, Libyan War, Middle East, Oil, Politics — cynicalsynapse @ 9:07 am

Libyan rebels capture another city

I don’t know what the real deal is with Libya, but I’ll tell you “we” (the US/NATO) had no business there from the beginning of the uprising. Say what you want, but intervene not; until everyone looked the other way, Libya was a sovereign state. As for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), they said preventing civilian casualties was their primary purpose. So, why not NATO (or even United Nations) action regarding the thousands of casualties in Syria? A little huffing and puffing by the international community has accomplished nothing.

On the surface, Syria and Libya seem like very similar “Arab Spring” situations. There are distinct differences, however. Key US allies, in particular France and Britain, have substantial stakes in Libyan oil interests while none of the western countries have appreciable involvement in Syrian resources. Ugly as it is, that’s the simple reality of it.

volunteers receive military training in Tripoli

Since the French, especially, and British are the key stakeholders, I say let them train the Libyans in security and defense matters. Except the Brits and French want no part of supporting a new Libyan regime. Unfortunately, because we always have to have our fingers into the pie, US State Department officials are offering US assistance to Libya. From my perspective: what part of Iraq do you not realize was a distraction from the Global War on Terror? Why would you not think Libya is also a distraction?

In the Global War on Terror, which political correctness now calls “Overseas Contingency Operations” (OCO), the Taliban, especially in Afghanistan, has always been the enemy of concern. I believe the war in Iraq distracted us—the US—from the key fight against terrorism and allowed the Taliban to build the insurgency we are now battling. We are paying a price—in lives, dollars, and public support—for failing to keep the focus where it needed to be.

Despite such recent history, my concern is we’re about to repeat the same mistake regarding operations in Afghanistan as we did in 2003. It doesn’t matter if it’s as big as Operation Iraqi Freedom or as small as training teams for Libya. In the likely future of constrained resources, we can’t afford anything taking our eye off the ball. And in my mind, we cannot permit the Taliban, who aided and abetted the 9/11 terrorists, any appreciable powerbase in Afghanistan.

Previously on Libya:



  1. CS you’ve put your finger right on the pulse. I was solidly against any US involvement in Libya from the get-go. Why in the world we think we must forever become involved in every conflict on the fact of the earth. Of course, we are typically quicker to jump in when oil is involved. But once we are there – where ever “there” may be – we almost never leave. And we never “win” either. All we do is lose a lot of GI lives and run up our country’s debt. I recently read an article that said we should offset the cost of our wars, like some want to do now with natural disasters. If our legislators were forced to do that, elective wars would soon end.

    Comment by The Old Man — Fri, 16 Sep 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    • Thanks for stopping by, Old Man. I agree with you. If we hadn’t gotten so outrageous with deficit spending and the “I want more” mentality that goes with it, we probably would never have gotten to the point of derivatives and sub-prime mortgages. We could still have a robust economy and avoided such a crushing and insurmountable debt.

      Comment by cynicalsynapse — Sun, 18 Sep 2011 @ 10:19 am

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