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Old 12-06-2016   #261
Azor
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Default RE: Libyan Civil War

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat

With other words: I would say that the civil war in Libya is entering its closing phase. One in which the UN-supported government in Tripoli remains where it is, but its military forces (GNA) are out of condition to continue fighting. Which means that everything is going to be decided by military dictatorship of Haftar, supported by Emiratis, Egyptians, and Jordanians...

EDIT: forgot to add my usual, 'Congratulations Oblabla', fantastic foreign policy...
I thought that the GNA only existed on paper, and that the squabble remains between the original GNC and the CoD?

At any rate, I prefer Haftar and the influence of the Jordanians, Egyptians and Emiratis to Islamists and the influence of the Turks and Qataris.

As for Obama, the sooner that the war ends, the sooner he can declare the past 5+ years of chaos as worth the NFZ and ousting of Qaddafi.

Obama made many rookie mistakes in his first term. From the standpoint of US national security, I would say that Operation Odyssey Dawn was worse than Operation Iraqi Freedom, despite the difference in casualties, especially American. Why?
  • Libya had agreed in 2003 to abandon its WMD programs in return for a resumption in normal relations with the West
  • China and Russia were under the impression that the NFZ would not be a cover for intervening on behalf of the rebels, which the British, French and Qataris did; the latter on the ground, in contravention of the UNSCR
  • Iran and North Korea regarded OOD as a betrayal of Libya's abandonment of WMDs
  • Between OOD and the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, rogue nuclear states observed that no gentleman's agreement or guarantee could substitute for the deterrence of nuclear weapons
  • Nuclear proliferation by North Korea and Pakistan, as well as potentially by Iran and others is more of a national security threat than the ongoing mess created by OEF
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Old 12-07-2016   #262
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Originally Posted by Azor View Post
I thought that the GNA only existed on paper, and that the squabble remains between the original GNC and the CoD?
The GNA remains relevant: Haftar is never going to be recognized by the UN, and thus not by Western powers either - and he knows that.

But, meanwhile he's in a position where without him, there's no Libyan state.

Quote:
At any rate, I prefer Haftar and the influence of the Jordanians, Egyptians and Emiratis to Islamists and the influence of the Turks and Qataris.
'Problems':

- a) One third of Haftar's LNA are Salafists. In comparison, and no matter how much declared 'Islamist', the GNA forces are none of that.

- b) Egypt is a military dictatorship; Jordan is a 'royal' dictatorship (no matter how much nice-talked because its a US ally); and UAE is a dictatorship too.

Any idea what three dictatorships are likely to do with a military dictator in Libya? For example, how likely are they to install a pluralist democracy...?

Quote:
Obama made many rookie mistakes in his first term. From the standpoint of US national security, I would say that Operation Odyssey Dawn was worse than Operation Iraqi Freedom, despite the difference in casualties, especially American. Why?
  • Libya had agreed in 2003 to abandon its WMD programs in return for a resumption in normal relations with the West
  • China and Russia were under the impression that the NFZ would not be a cover for intervening on behalf of the rebels, which the British, French and Qataris did; the latter on the ground, in contravention of the UNSCR
  • Iran and North Korea regarded OOD as a betrayal of Libya's abandonment of WMDs
  • Between OOD and the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, rogue nuclear states observed that no gentleman's agreement or guarantee could substitute for the deterrence of nuclear weapons
  • Nuclear proliferation by North Korea and Pakistan, as well as potentially by Iran and others is more of a national security threat than the ongoing mess created by OEF
Aha. An imposing list of arguments.

BTW, have you ever heard of some human beings called 'Libyans'? If you have, what's with their rights and interests? Is it so these don't matter because they are 3-5 million of predominantly Moslem Arabs and Berbers? Or shall I conclude you're one of those advocating retention of oppressive dictatorships in interest of Western-centric POVs...?
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Old 12-07-2016   #263
Azor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
The GNA remains relevant: Haftar is never going to be recognized by the UN, and thus not by Western powers either - and he knows that. But, meanwhile he's in a position where without him, there's no Libyan state.
Then there has to be an accommodation made.



Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
a) One third of Haftar's LNA are Salafists. In comparison, and no matter how much declared 'Islamist', the GNA forces are none of that.
None? The GNC did not have any Muslim Brotherhood elements? Ankara and Doha are both supporting secularists, deviating from their usual policy of supporting the MB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
b) Egypt is a military dictatorship; Jordan is a 'royal' dictatorship (no matter how much nice-talked because its a US ally); and UAE is a dictatorship too.
So? Qatar is a dictatorship and Turkey is transforming itself into one as well. So much for the "model" Muslim country...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
Any idea what three dictatorships are likely to do with a military dictator in Libya? For example, how likely are they to install a pluralist democracy...?
So the Turks and Qataris want pluralist democracy? Not the MB in power?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
Aha. An imposing list of arguments.

BTW, have you ever heard of some human beings called 'Libyans'? If you have, what's with their rights and interests? Is it so these don't matter because they are 3-5 million of predominantly Moslem Arabs and Berbers? Or shall I conclude you're one of those advocating retention of oppressive dictatorships in interest of Western-centric POVs...?
I was arguing why intervention in Libya was a strategic mistake, not that the people of Libya don't deserve liberal democracy.

I can think of many peoples deserving of Western protection from domestic and foreign oppression, where intervention would have caused a greater disaster, namely nuclear war.

After the ousting of Qaddafi and the annexation of Crimea, how can any state possessing or developing nuclear weapons see any benefit in dismantling their weapons or programs? For guarantees that can be breached? For a few years of sanctions relief?

In the Arab Muslim world there are few successes when it comes to freedom and democracy. However, Tunisia comes to mind as the only one of these countries ranked as "free" (FH) or as a democracy, albeit a "flawed" one (EIU). Behind Tunisia is Morocco (hybrid government, partly free) and Lebanon, but the latter is over 40% Christian, and the Muslims are evenly divided between Sunni and Shia.

As in Africa, energy resources have proven to be a curse, as can be seen in Libya, Algeria and the Gulf Arab states, with the wealth acting as more of a hindrance than help as far as liberal democracy is concerned.

Tunisia is an interesting case, as in the aftermath of the Revolution, Islamist parties only received 37% of the vote, compared to 65% for Egypt. Whereas Tunisia's parliament elected an interim president who was a secularist and the subsequent 2014 race was between two secularists, Egypt narrowly elected an Islamist president (Morsi).

Of all the countries caught up in the Arab Spring, Tunisia's Revolution seemed to involve the least foreign interference, in stark contrast to Libya, Syria and to a lesser extent Egypt. Even Tunisia's version of the Muslim Brotherhood seems closer to the Christian Democratic parties of Europe, than its sister organizations in Turkey and Egypt.
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Old 12-07-2016   #264
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Originally Posted by Azor View Post
None? The GNC did not have any Muslim Brotherhood elements?
The GNC - not.

It was the pre-GNC government (which was never recognized interntionally, and which quit once the UN-supported government arrived in Tripoli) that was 'MB-influenced'.

Quote:
Ankara and Doha are both supporting secularists, deviating from their usual policy of supporting the MB?
Irrelevant - because, and as described above: they're out of the game. Not only that even Ansar ash-Sharia was destroyed, but after all experiences of the last two years, nobody is going to listen to them any more. Which means they have no meaningful 'proxies' in Libya.

Quote:
I was arguing why intervention in Libya was a strategic mistake, not that the people of Libya don't deserve liberal democracy.
You're arguing in US/Western-centric style - while entirely ignoring the core reason for the situation.

Time and again, you come to post about something like 'historian approach to monitoring the situation' etc. But, when it comes to apply your studies of history, you seem unable to do so. Why?

If you check the British history: the country began making giant leaps forward the moment it started sorting out its human-rights-related issues - and it grew as powerful precisely because it did so centuries ahead of anybody else. The Netherlands - ditto. If you check the US history: even more so (although the time-lapse was measured by decades, rather than by centuries).

But, in the case of countries like Libya, and just like the entire 'establishment' (whether political or academic) you're approaching the topic from the tail first: correspondingly, it's 'all about intervention'...

...and 'not the least about Libyans'...?

Sorry, but such discussions are meanwhile getting boring.

Thus, and excuse me, please, but I'll reply only to what I find interesting:

Quote:
Tunisia is an interesting case, as in the aftermath of the Revolution, Islamist parties only received 37% of the vote, compared to 65% for Egypt.
Sigh... as if it would be that much different anywhere else (than it turned out in Tunisia)...

And re. Egypt: Egypt is no example for anything at all. The country is such an utter chaos and wishful thinking that nobody understands it - especially not Egyptians (indeed, Egyptians can't even agree with themselves if they are Egyptians or Arabs, just for the start).

At most, one can say that Egyptians made a mistake during their elections - and elected by heart, not by reason. Then they realized they made a mistake - and corrected it, but in wrong fashion: instead of giving it a second chance and waiting for next elections, they all (including most of MBs) supported a military coup. Obviously, that was their next mistake, and now they have to wait for the next opportunity to correct it.

Quote:
Of all the countries caught up in the Arab Spring, Tunisia's Revolution seemed to involve the least foreign interference, in stark contrast to Libya, Syria and to a lesser extent Egypt.
Oh, really...?

The only difference between Tunisia and all the other 'caught in the Arab Spring' was that Tunisia was over very quickly - and then because Ben Ali was a man enough to admit to himself that people don't want him, and to go.

That's something that 'can't happen' to such megalomaniacs like Q, like Assad, or quite a few others.
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Old 12-08-2016   #265
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I'm glad to see that Ankara and Doha are "out of the game" and have "no meaningful proxies" in Libya. Hopefully the situation winds down, as the country has more than enough oil and gas revenue potential to support its population decently. Yet Libya's black gold and small population as been about as much benefit to the average Libyan as Equatorial Guinea's has. Hopefully the unity government, when it is finally established, can be prevailed upon to follow the Norwegian model. After supporting the rebellion, the least that London and Paris can do is midwife a better future than the past under Qaddafi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
You're arguing in US/Western-centric style - while entirely ignoring the core reason for the situation. Time and again, you come to post about something like 'historian approach to monitoring the situation' etc. But, when it comes to apply your studies of history, you seem unable to do so. Why? If you check the British history: the country began making giant leaps forward the moment it started sorting out its human-rights-related issues - and it grew as powerful precisely because it did so centuries ahead of anybody else. The Netherlands - ditto. If you check the US history: even more so (although the time-lapse was measured by decades, rather than by centuries). But, in the case of countries like Libya, and just like the entire 'establishment' (whether political or academic) you're approaching the topic from the tail first: correspondingly, it's 'all about intervention'...
I would say that economic advancement led to political advancement, as greater income and wealth as well as the greater diffusion of both, produced a middle class upon whose acquiescence the rule of the <1% rested.

As for humanitarian intervention, I would start with Sudan and the Congos first...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat
And re. Egypt: Egypt is no example for anything at all. The country is such an utter chaos and wishful thinking that nobody understands it - especially not Egyptians (indeed, Egyptians can't even agree with themselves if they are Egyptians or Arabs, just for the start). At most, one can say that Egyptians made a mistake during their elections - and elected by heart, not by reason. Then they realized they made a mistake - and corrected it, but in wrong fashion: instead of giving it a second chance and waiting for next elections, they all (including most of MBs) supported a military coup. Obviously, that was their next mistake, and now they have to wait for the next opportunity to correct it.

The only difference between Tunisia and all the other 'caught in the Arab Spring' was that Tunisia was over very quickly - and then because Ben Ali was a man enough to admit to himself that people don't want him, and to go. That's something that 'can't happen' to such megalomaniacs like Q, like Assad, or quite a few others.
The Egyptian military has its hooks in the economy in the way that the Revolutionary Guards do in Iran. It didn't appear the Tunisia had the same situation...

Subsequent violence aside, the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia lasted for the same duration and inflicted the same number of fatalities, irrespective of post-revolutionary violence.

It seems that the moderate opposition in Tunisia was stronger than it was in Egypt, and that the Muslim Brotherhood in the latter was decidedly Islamist, anti-Western and anti-GCC.

As for Bashar al-Assad's personality, I don't find him on the same plane as Hussein in terms of brutality. I also believe that Syrian regime activities are more dictated by Iran and Assad's inner circle than him personally...

But, we will know more when the dust finally settles.
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Old 12-08-2016   #266
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Originally Posted by Azor View Post
I would say that economic advancement led to political advancement, as greater income and wealth as well as the greater diffusion of both, produced a middle class upon whose acquiescence the rule of the <1% rested.
Along the theory about the 'China prototype'...?

That's plain silly: it's not really working even in China - at least not without another oppressive dictatorship.

I do not understand why is it so hard to understand that it works only the other way around: give people the freedoms, keep them safe from terror, then let them develop - and they'll manage it. I do not recall a single example of where this didn't work.

Quote:
It seems that the moderate opposition in Tunisia was stronger than it was in Egypt, and that the Muslim Brotherhood in the latter was decidedly Islamist, anti-Western and anti-GCC.
'Moderate opposition'... sigh: with very few exceptions (and most of these would certainly surprise you), 99% of people are always 'moderate', no matter what country, ethnic group or religion. Question is always what is done to support one or the other side.

Thanks whoever, Tunisia was left on its own - by supporters of pluralism and by those of extremism.

Quote:
As for Bashar al-Assad's personality, I don't find him on the same plane as Hussein in terms of brutality.
Such standpoints are simply based on lack of knowledge about Assadist regime.

Here a few examples of what is going on in their prisons, every single day, since nearly 50 years (warning: GRAFFIC, not recommended for consumption after breakfast): Assadist regime in 30 seconds.
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Old 01-11-2017   #267
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Default War Is Boring: A New Civil War Could Break out in Libya

https://warisboring.com/a-new-civil-...cf0#.io8ubnwxy

Fresh fighting would pit the Libyan National Army against the Government of National Accord

by WOLFGANG PUSZTAI & ARNAUD DELALANDE

Quote:
Beginning in December 2016, the Saraya Defend Benghazi — also known as Benghazi Defense Brigade — an Islamist militia group that formed in June 2016 to oppose Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s Tobruk-based Libyan National Army, was involved in the attack on facilities in Libya’s Oil Crescent.

The LNA decisively repulsed the attacks. But the wider conflict is only deepening — and could spark a new civil war in Libya pitting the two major claimants to the country’s leadership. Haftar and his allies in Tobruk on one side. On the other, the Government of National Accord in Tripoli.
Resource constraints on both sides could head off further fighting — assuming the local allies of both Haftar and the GNA behave themselves.

The December fighting was fierce...

Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-12-2017 at 09:04 AM. Reason: Moved from another thread to right one.
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Old 01-14-2017   #268
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...and another one by Arnaud: Erik Prince’s Mercenaries Are Bombing#Libya

Quote:
On Jan. 11, 2017, Intelligence Online — a professional journal covering the world’s intelligence services — revealed that the pilots of Air Tractor attack planes flying from Al Khadim air base in Libya are private contractors working for Erik Prince, the founder of the company formerly known as Blackwater.

War Is Boring’s own sources in Libya confirmed the assertion. Our sources said that the pilots flying the United Arab Emirates Air Force IOMAX AT-802 Air Tractors — converted crop-dusters — are mercenaries and aren’t Arabs. Most of the for-profit aviators are American, according to IOL.
...

Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-14-2017 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Copied to Blackwater thread.
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Old 03-10-2017   #269
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AFRICOM commander voices concern over Russian meddling in Libya:
http://trib.al/mjYc2WP
#

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-10-2017 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Moved from Syria thread.
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Old 03-15-2017   #270
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Russia "appears to have deployed" special forces to an airbase in Egypt 60 miles from the border with Libya in the past few days, according to U.S., Egyptian, and diplomatic sources, per a Reuters report.
Last week the U.S. military commander who oversees U.S. operations in Africa, Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia is trying to once again "exert influence" in the country, which used to be its client state. Waldhauser said a good way to characterize what appears to be happening between Russia and Libya is how Russia has been trying to support Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Why it matters: Russia might be planning to prop up Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar, which would not be in the best interests of the U.S., according to Waldhauser. That's because Haftar is in a deadlock with the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli.
https://www.axios.com/russian-troops...314277229.html
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Old 03-15-2017   #271
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Peskov: Russian 'excessive' interference in Libyan affairs not possible or expedient

Q: What's excessive?'

A: I've said all I want to
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Old 03-22-2017   #272
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How Emirati air power turned Haftar's Libyan oil ports disaster to victory
Quote:
How could an army have lost an entire region in a few days - and then recovered it so quickly?

On 14 March, General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army launched a counterattack against the fighters of the Saraya Defend Benghazi and the Petroleum Facilities Guard coalition, which had managed to take most of the coastal cities near the oil terminals 10 days earlier.

This lightning counter-offensive has left observers skeptical. How could an army have lost an entire region in a few days - and then recovered it so quickly?

The reasons for the failure of Haftar to contain the offensive on the oil terminals in the first place were multiple. Unlike their first attempt in#December 2016, the SDB and PFG fighters managed to rally some militias from Misrata including the al-Marsa Brigade. That's the first reason.

Secondly, the SDB-PFG convoy coming from Zillah, a town in the Sahara Desert where the SDB were based, joined the fight quickly and attacked several locations, taking Haftar troops - which were already limited in number because they were fighting on other fronts, particularly Derna - by surprise. The UAE's Wing Loong drones, supporting Haftar's forces,#apparently failed to spot the oncoming convoy in the desert.
...
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