The massacre in Manchester is a horrific event born out of the violence raging in a vast area stretching from Pakistan to Nigeria and Syria to South Sudan. Britain is on the outer periphery of this cauldron of war, but it would be surprising if we were not hit by sparks thrown up by these savage conflicts. They have been going on so long that they are scarcely reported, and the rest of the world behaves as if perpetual warfare was the natural state of Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, South Sudan, North-east Nigeria and Afghanistan.It is inevitable that, in the wake of the slaughter in Manchester, popular attention in Britain should be focussed on the circumstances of the mass killing and on what can be done to stop it happening again. But explanations for what happened and plans to detect and neutralise a very small number of Salafi-jihadi fanatics in UK, will always lack realism unless they are devised and implemented with a broad understanding of the context in which they occur.
Tag Archives: Libya
The focus of Nato’s conference in Brussels, the first since Donald Trump got to the White House, was on the message he sent to an organisation of Western allies he had called “obsolete” while speaking of his admiration for Vladimir Putin.
The message, a veiled threat, conveyed by US defence secretary James Mattis, was that the continuing failure of the alliance to pay its share on security would lead to the US reevaluating its commitment to the defence of Europe. That and the continuing fallout over Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn’s departure after clandestine contacts with the Russians, were the sources of fascination and foreboding here.
EU leaders have approved a deal to step up training, the supply of equipment and other support for the Libyan coastguard, following a summit in Malta today that was backed by Presidency Council head Faiez Serraj.
The move is part of a wider, new €200-million plan to stem the flow of migrants from Libya across the Mediterranean. This also includes upgrading migrant camps in Libya, along with the IOM and UNHCR, and funding to the IOM to help the repatriation of migrants who do not have a case for asylum.
Starting the new year off with a bang, the Financial Times has just published a dispatch by Erik Prince, notorious founder and former CEO of the private security contracting firm Blackwater, the outfit responsible for projects such as the 2007 Nisour Square massacre of Iraqi children and other civilians.
Il 20 ottobre è stato l’anniversario della morte di Muammar Gheddafi. Molti ne hanno approfittato per rimpiangerlo, diffondendo le solite falsità su di lui attraverso siti e blog.Quest’anno la nostalgia per Gheddafi è sembrata più forte che in passato, non solo in Libia ma anche nel resto del mondo. Il fatto è che molti avversari di Hillary Clinton hanno usato l’anniversario contro di lei. Non sto dicendo che preferisco un candidato in particolare alle presidenziali statunitensi, ma se qualcuno dovesse puntarmi una pistola alla tempia costringendomi a scegliere tra Hillary Clinton e Donald Trump, be’, sceglierei Hillary. E visto che la Libia è diventata uno degli argomenti di discussione preferiti nella campagna elettorale, immagino che anche i libici possano avere voce in capitolo.
The era of the West’s enthusiasm for military intervention is over. Two reports on Iraq and Libya—written from the heart of the British establishment and published recently—have delivered its obituary. Each is damning; together, they dismember the case for intervention in both its neocon and liberal-hawk variants. Although their focus is almost exclusively on decision-making within Whitehall—the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Ministry of Defence, and, above all, No. 10 Downing Street—Americans will recognize many of the same ills afflicting their own government.
The 2003 Iraq invasion arose from the hubris of neoconservatives. Its ostensible targets: weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. Its ambition: to spread democracy and American-style corporate capitalism. It was long planned, but not, it seems, well planned. Many liberals opposed the Iraq intervention because they disliked its architect and suspected its motives. But they still believed that Western, and especially U.S., military power, used assertively, could make the world a better place.
Across Libya, people took to the streets this weekend to protest against the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and the UN’s Libya mission.Hundreds turned out in Benghazi on Friday in a rally calling for the dismissal of the head of the UN’s Libya mission, Martin Kobler, and GNA head Fayez al-Seraj. A bomb that exploded near the protest merely increased the number of people taking to the streets.“There were hundreds and hundreds of people at the protest yesterday against Kobler and Serraj,” Salem, 23, told Middle East Eye. High-ranking attendees included Libya’s eastern government’s Interior Minister, Mohammed al-Mahdani al-Fahri, and the head of the Benghazi Security Directorate, Saleh Huwaidi.
Rarely has there been a foreign policy critique as devastating as the one delivered by the British parliament’s foreign affairs committee this week against the military intervention in 2011 in Libya. The Chilcot report, which forensically exposed the blunders of the attack on Iraq in 2003, set the tone this summer, but in some ways the Libya report goes further. The invasion of Iraq took place in a different context. There was widespread public dissent over what the US and UK governments were seen to be planning, and although a few reporters played a disgraceful role in peddling leaks of false intelligence, there was a spirited debate in much of the media about the wisdom of regime change by force and by outsiders.
To plumb the depths of the insanity of British policy in Libya, factual reports are not enough. A day after he resigned as MP, the UK’s foreign affairs committee gutted David Cameron’s reputation as war leader.The British parliamentary enquiry found that “responsibility to protect” had been used as a cover for regime change (the Russian argument); that the imminent threat of Gaddafi’s forces to civilians in Benghazi was overstated; that intelligence was inadequate and that Britain followed France without an ability to influence it. Sound familiar? But even those judgements stop short of the whole truth. For that, you need to turn to fiction. Joseph Heller’s contribution to war studies was the character of Milo Minderbinder in his book, Catch 22. The mess officer on a US airbase in Italy said that as there was nothing any soldier could do about war, except die in it, the only rational thing to do was to profit from it. So when Milo found himself with a glut of Egyptian cotton, he invited the Germans to bomb his own airfield.
Libyan officials were cautious on Thursday about declaring complete victory over the Islamic State in the coastal city of Surt, saying unknown numbers of the militant organization’s extremists remained ensconced in three neighborhoods.
While the Islamic State’s headquarters in the heavily fortified Ouagadougou Center, as well as an adjacent hospital and other important buildings, were taken on Wednesday by pro-government militiamen backed by American airstrikes, the fight was clearly far from over.