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Old 12-06-2012   #195
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Default The "Libyan Afterparty"

Jack Goldsmith (at Lawfare), The Libyan Afterparty Continues (December 5, 2012):

Walter Russell Mead coined the phrase “Libyan afterparty” to describe the many unintended and unhappy consequences – especially for the rise of Islamist terrorist power centers in Northern Africa – of the 2011 U.S. and NATO invasion of Libya. (Some of Mead’s terrific posts on the issue can be found [JMM: linked with titles and ledes below]; there are more.) The afterparty continues this week. Here is Mead today:

The full extent of the damage caused by the Libyan afterparty is slowly becoming clear, as bad news from Mali continues to trickle in. Flooded with weapons and veterans from Libya, the northern half of Mali has become a Texas-sized Saharan safe haven for al-Qaeda and affiliates. Newly galvanized young men from across the region are drawn to the fighting, which threatens to destabilize much of West Africa. ...
Earlier links -

July 4, 2012 - The Libyan Afterparty Continues As Timbuktu Dies:

In the ongoing struggle between northern Mali’s secessionist Taureg fighters and a local Islamic jihadist group, Ansar Dine, the Islamists claim to have driven all remaining rebels from a third and final large town in the region. If the reports are accurate it would complete their control over a lawless area that may serve as a stronghold for al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups in the Maghreb. ...
October 19, 2012 - Libyan Afterparty Getting out of Hand:

It’s now been nearly a year since the NATO’s Libya mission was completed, but the afterparty is still dragging on in nearby countries. This week, the FT reported that France is growing particularly concerned with the growth of al-Qaeda groups in northern Mali, where Islamic militants have established a firm foothold in the region ...
October 22, 2012 - Get Ready for the Mali Invasion:

France is sending drones to Mali while hundreds of Islamist fighters are coming in from across the Middle East, preparing to defend their safe haven.

According to the Associated Press, French drones will soon be patrolling the skies above the Malian desert. ...
October 31, 2012 - Libya: America’s New Nation Building Commitment (Mali Next):

Regular readers know that we’ve never been optimists about the results of President Obama’s decision to wage an air war in Libya against the Qaddafi regime. The consequences of the war have more than justified our concern; this story in the FT, about the ongoing tribalist chaos around the town of Bani Walid, only underlines the utter fecklessness of the new Libyan government and the dangerous chaos taking root in that country. ...
October 31, 2012 - The War on Terror Opens A New Front:

At Via Meadia we’ve been closely following the ongoing Libyan afterparty, which saw thousands of heavily armed mercenaries flood south across the Sahara, promptly leading to war and a coup in Mali, which not so long ago bright eyed development optimists touted as one of Africa’s model democracies and a sign of a bright new day for the battered continent.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies has published a helpful write-up on the rise of radical Islamic throughout the Sahel and West Africa—a development that still only fuzzily registers in the minds of American politicians and voters. ...
November 5, 2012 - Why The Ambassador Died:

A story in this morning’s New York Times points out that the United States did not have forces in place capable of protecting its personnel and Benghazi last September.
But the story raises deeper and far more troubling questions about how unprepared the administration was to deal with the new situation its intervention in Libya created. For months now, the security situation throughout Libya, in neighboring Mali, and in other countries has been deteriorating sharply. Bands of jihadis and their supporters are roaming almost at will. Under conditions like this, it was only a matter of time before American citizens or diplomats would be attacked or taken hostage. ...
Today's NYT followup to last story, U.S.-Approved Arms for Libya Rebels Fell Into Jihadis’ Hands:

Published: December 5, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.
The administration has never determined where all of the weapons, paid for by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, went inside Libya, officials said. Qatar is believed to have shipped by air and sea small arms, including machine guns, automatic rifles, and ammunition, for which it has demanded reimbursement from Libya’s new government. Some of the arms since have been moved from Libya to militants with ties to Al Qaeda in Mali, where radical jihadi factions have imposed Shariah law in the northern part of the country, the former Defense Department official said. Others have gone to Syria, according to several American and foreign officials and arms traders. ...
Not a pleasant set of articles.


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