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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #350 on: October 30, 2013, 10:07:29 AM »



http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/james-beattie/dhs-proposes-lifting-30-year-immigration-ban-libyans-working-us-aviation

DHS Proposes Lifting 30-Year Immigration Ban for Libyans Working in U.S. Aviation and Nuclear Fields
October 29, 2013 - 5:03 PM
By James Beattie


(CNSNews.com) – A draft regulation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would lift a 30-year-ban on Libyan nationals coming to the United States to work or train in “aviation maintenance, flight operations, or nuclear-related fields.”

The 11-page proposed rule was obtained by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

In a statement on his congressional website, Rep. Chaffetz said that the draft final regulation could take effect without prior notice and comment. The congressmen say the prohibition was put in place in the 1980s after the wave of terrorist incidents involving Libyans.

"The administration justifies lifting this ban by claiming that the United States’ relationship with Libya has been ‘normalized,’” the statement said.

But the congressmen also say, "the terror threat continues and numerous news reports document recent terror-related stories coming from Libya. And just over a year ago the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was attacked, which resulted in the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens."

benghazi

The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on fire in the early morning of Sept. 12, 2012. (AP)

A House Judiciary Committee source said the document is an “internal draft regulation” and is not final yet, and was obtained by Reps. Chaffetz and Goodlatte. It is not known yet when DHS, formerly headed by Secretary Janet Napolitano -- and now awaiting a new leader -- will officially issue the regulation.

The actual rule says the “United States and the Government of Libya have normalized their relationship and most of the restrictions and sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations toward Libya have been lifted. Therefore, DHS, after consultation with the Department of State and the Department of Defense, is rescinding the restrictions that deny nonimmigrant status and benefits to a specific group of Libyan nationals.”

Libyan nationals who want to come to America to study aviation or nuclear science would have to undergo the “Visas Mantis” security clearance, reads the regulation, and be subject to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security-threat assessments.

Chaffetz: ‘If President Obama Wants Gun Control He Should Start With the United States Park Police’

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). (AP)

Goodlatte, in a statement on Chaffetz’s website, said, “Just over a year ago, four Americans were killed in the pre-planned terrorist attacks on the American Consulate in Benghazi.  We still haven’t gotten to the bottom of the Benghazi terrorist attacks and continue to face additional terrorist threats from Libya, yet the Obama Administration is preparing to lift a longstanding ban that protects Americans and our interests.”

Chaffetz said, “It is unbelievable that this administration would again put Americans in harm’s way by lifting a decades old security ban on a country that has become a hotbed of terrorist activity. We must work with the Libyans to build mutual trust that ensures safety and prosperity for both countries to enjoy."

Judicial Watch, a government watchdog organization based in Washington, D.C., commented, “It’s incomprehensible that the U.S. government is even considering reversing the longstanding policy banning Libyans from working or training in areas so crucial to national security.”

Inquiries by telephone and e-mail from CNSNews.com to DHS for comment were not answered before this story was published.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #351 on: February 03, 2014, 07:33:45 PM »

NYT (POTH)

Libya’s Cache of Toxic Arms All Destroyed

By ERIC SCHMITTFEB. 2, 2014


WASHINGTON — Even as the international effort to destroy Syria’s vast chemical weapons stockpile lags behind schedule, a similar American-backed campaign carried out under a cloak of secrecy ended successfully last week in another strife-torn country, Libya.

The United States and Libya in the past three months have discreetly destroyed what both sides say were the last remnants of Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi’s lethal arsenal of chemical arms. They used a transportable oven technology to destroy hundreds of bombs and artillery rounds filled with deadly mustard agent, which American officials had feared could fall into the hands of terrorists. The effort also helped inspire the use of the technology in the much bigger disposal plan in Syria.
Related Coverage

    Syria’s foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, center, said Friday  in Geneva that he did not rule out returning for more negotiations.
    Syrian Talks, Ending First Round, Fail Even to Agree on Easing Aid BlockadeJAN. 31, 2014
    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, met with Polish defense minister Tomasz Siemoniak, left, on Thursday.
    Delay in Chemical Arms Pledge CriticizedJAN. 30, 2014

Since November, Libyan contractors trained in Germany and Sweden have worked in bulky hazmat suits at a tightly guarded site in a remote corner of the Libyan desert, 400 miles southeast of Tripoli, racing to destroy the weapons in a region where extremists linked to Al Qaeda are gaining greater influence. The last artillery shell was destroyed on Jan. 26, officials said.

As Libya’s weak central government grapples with turmoil and unrest, and as kidnappings and assassinations of military and police officers accelerate in the country’s east, American and international weapons specialists hailed the destruction of the Libyan stockpile as a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy security environment.

“It’s a big breakthrough,” said Paul F. Walker, an arms control expert with the environmental group Green Cross International who has helped in efforts to demilitarize the American and Russian chemical weapons stockpiles since the 1990s. “Even though Libya’s chemical stockpile was relatively small, the effort to destroy it was very difficult because of weather, geography and because it’s a dangerous area with warring tribes, increasing the risks of theft and diversion,” he said.

Libya’s last two tons of chemical weapons were dwarfed by the 1,300 tons that Syria has agreed to destroy. But American and international arms experts say the need for easily transportable and efficient technology to wipe out the Libyan arms became a model for the Syria program now underway.

For Libya’s fragile transitional government, such collaboration with the West on security matters is a delicate issue. It gives the country’s leaders desperately needed assistance to defuse internal threats, but also risks accusations of compromising national sovereignty.

Asked about the American efforts to destroy the chemical weapons, Libyan security officials in Tripoli initially issued sweeping denials. One later briefly acknowledged the operation on the condition of anonymity, and then officials stopped returning phone calls.

On Sunday, the White House said that it would ensure that the Syrian government complied with an accord to give up its chemical arsenal despite missed deadlines and delays in carrying out the deal.

The White House chief of staff, Denis McDonough, said on the CBS News program “Face the Nation” that the deal was “not falling apart, but we would like to see it proceed much more quickly than it is.”

The disposal of the last of Libya’s chemical weapons closes a chapter that Colonel Qaddafi began in early 2004, when his government turned over a vast cache of nuclear technology and chemical stockpiles to the United States, Britain and international nuclear inspectors.

At that time, Libya declared for destruction 24.7 metric tons of sulfur mustard, a syrupy liquid that when loaded into bombs or artillery shells and exploded creates a toxic mist that penetrates clothing, burns and blisters exposed skin, and can kill with large doses or if left untreated. The chemical was used extensively in World War I.


Libya had destroyed about half of these stocks when civil war broke out in 2011. Western spy agencies closely monitored the destruction site in the Libyan desert to ensure the stockpiles were not pilfered by insurgents.

When the new government took control in Tripoli that fall, it signaled its intent to finish the job. Libyan officials also surprised Western inspectors by announcing the discovery in November 2011 and February 2012 of two hidden caches of mustard, or nearly two tons, that had not been declared by Colonel Qaddafi’s government. That brought the total declared amount of chemical to 26.3 tons.

Unlike the majority of Libya’s mustard agents, which were stored in large, bulky containers, the new caches were already armed and loaded into 517 artillery shells, 45 plastic sleeves for rocket launchings and eight 500-pound bombs.

The new stockpiles immediately posed huge challenges for the fledgling Libyan government, which had no ability to destroy the combat-ready chemical weapons, as well as for its American and European allies called upon to help.

The disposal site is deep in the desert, in an area where Islamist militants hostile to the West wield growing influence. It also sits on the front line of the struggle between Libya’s eastern and western provinces over political power and oil revenue. A defining issue in post-Qaddafi politics, the regional rivalry has often spilled out into armed blockades of the national highways and crucial oil-export terminals as well.

Using $45 million from the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which has helped rid the former Soviet Union of thousands of nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War, the Pentagon and its Defense Threat Reduction Agency tapped the Parsons Corporation, a construction firm based in Pasadena, Calif., to work with Libya to oversee the rebuilding and safeguarding of the Libyan disposal site, which had been ransacked during the civil war.

Remarkably, the mustard agents stored in bulk containers at the site were untouched and their inspection seals unbroken, American and international officials said. These have all been destroyed, too.

Canada donated $6 million to help restore water, sewage service and electricity to the site, and to build living quarters for Western and Libyan contractors. Germany agreed to fly international inspectors to the site.

The project has relied on a custom-built device from Dynasafe, a Swedish company, to destroy the weapons. It is essentially a giant, high-tech oven called a static-detonation chamber. The munitions were fed through an automated loading system into a gas-tight chamber, where the toxic materials were vaporized at temperatures between 750 and 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Gases created in the process were scrubbed by special filters.

“The destruction of these munitions was a major undertaking in arduous, technically challenging circumstances,” Ahmet Uzumcu, the director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, whose inspectors supervised the destruction of the chemical weapons, said in a written statement.

Although American officials acknowledge that Libya is awash with conventional arms, they expressed confidence that the vast Libyan desert holds no other secret caches of unconventional arms for jihadis to exploit.

Andrew C. Weber, assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, said, “This is the culmination of a major international effort to eliminate weapons of mass destruction from Libya and to ensure that they never fall into the hands of terrorists.”
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G M
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« Reply #352 on: February 03, 2014, 09:56:12 PM »

Sure they did.…

 rolleyes
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #353 on: February 17, 2014, 06:51:09 AM »


Summary

Maj. Gen. Khalifa Haftar, a Gadhafi-era military commander who defected from the regime and attempted to aid the Libyan rebels during the 2011 uprisings, said Feb. 14 that Libya's beleaguered transitional political body should cede power because its mandate to rule ended Feb. 7. In his announcement on a Saudi-backed television channel, he ordered the General National Congress to step down in favor of fresh elections and claimed that Libyan army troops were in the streets of the capital. This statement was later proved false as local news stations went to the Congress and other government buildings in Tripoli and found lawmakers, including the prime minister and the president, working as usual.

Though Prime Minister Ali Zeidan referred to the episode as "laughable," this scenario underscores the often outwardly precarious situation facing Libya's political transition and its domestic stability now more than two years since the fall of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Libya is indeed plagued by a stalled political transition process and a proliferation of armed groups vying to influence the formation of an eventual permanent government. But unlike in Egypt or Algeria -- other countries in the region with a tradition of a strong military influence in domestic politics -- Libya's fledgling military lacks both the physical presence and the institutional legitimacy to either meaningfully challenge the government or to successfully stabilize the anemic authority of the central government by ruling in its stead.

Analysis

Though Haftar's call for a coup did not prove to be an immediate threat to the current Libyan government, the General National Congress does face an uphill battle for successfully holding constituent assembly elections and pushing the country toward a more permanent form of governance under the framework of a new constitution. The transitional process since the fall of Gadhafi has been beset with a number of difficulties: a proliferation of armed groups and militias that claim oversight over the government, weak control of national borders and Libya's vast desert territories and persistent concerns over the numbers of militants entering the country. These problems have led to fluctuating oil production and ongoing challenges to the central government's attempts to implement policies and hold municipal and national elections that would replace the myriad forms of local governance, tribal authorities and rising militia strongmen with democratic institutions.

In Egypt, the military grew into the most powerful state institution, imposing a top-down order to Egyptian governance. It become the ultimate arbiter of political disputes and the guarantor of the state's domestic and international obligations. With the 80 million people living in Egypt, Cairo faces the daunting task of governing the Middle East's largest population, the vast majority of whom are densely settled along the banks of the Nile River. In this situation, the Egyptian military has been well suited to rule, with its organizational capabilities, available manpower and relative popularity among the Egyptian people.
Libya's Population Density and Regions
Click to Enlarge

Gadhafi's Libya is markedly different. Its population is the smallest of the North African states at approximately 6.5 million. Spread primarily along the coast or in various smaller pockets within the Libyan desert, there is no unifying geographic feature to define Libyan society such as Egypt's Nile or the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria. Therefore, Libyan society has maintained its strong tribal identities and affiliations.

Rather than rule only through a crushing concentration of force wielded by a loyal army, Gadhafi maintained a delicate balancing act between Libya's opposing regions and local tribal competitions through his own patronage network that tied tribal networks into the regime. The People's Militia -- armed and loosely trained tribal networks -- also formed a significant number of the pre-revolutionary Libyan armed forces. Because Gadhafi took power through a military coup, as he grew older and increasingly paranoid he sought to limit the military's ability to concentrate force outside his control and thereby threaten his ability to rule the country.

Conversation: Libya's Deteriorating Security

In a bizarre twist of fate, post-Gadhafi Libya has in some instances seen the fruition of the previous dictator's supposed plans for the country -- specifically, the proliferation of local militias keeping in check the central government's ability to rule through force or unpopular decree. Though Gadhafi never intended for public opposition to rise up and depose him, or to effectively stall the government's ability to function, the rise of Libya's armed groups has underscored a startling truth for the General National Congress and Libya's foreign observers: the Libyan military is one of the most dysfunctional and poorly organized institutions within the Libyan state. Competitions for power within the Congress itself, a distrust of the lingering Gadhafi-era military leadership, a well-documented inability to delineate authority and a lack of clear communication have all hampered the military's ability to secure the country or push back against militia posturing.

The Libyan army suffered from large-scale defections and the loss of weapons, equipment and materiel following the 2011 revolution. The Libyan militias' refusal to disarm has created a scenario in which the military is no longer the strongest or most capable projector of force in the country. Local militia groups, such as those from Zintan or various pro-government militias of varying degrees of loyalty and dependability, support the national army in almost all of its operations in the country. Furthermore, there is still strong popular resistance to the formation of another strongman government rising in Tripoli, despite frustrations with the slow pace of change since the fall of Gadhafi.

Haftar's statement that the General National Congress should resign occurred against a backdrop of voices demanding that the General National Congress step down in favor of another governmental body ahead of the planned constitutional drafting process. Though Haftar's threats of a coup proved false, his sentiments correspond with those of many people in Libya who would like to see the General National Congress step aside and allow another group -- one that may be more amenable to the changes they would like to see in the constitution -- to come to power and oversee the drafting of Libya's constitution. However, Haftar is an interesting person to issue such a statement. A figure in Gadhafi's military structure, he defected nearly 20 years before Gadhafi fell, returning in Libya in 2011 to aid the rebellion. Haftar's role as a military commander during the rebellion was quickly ended over suspicions that he had ties to the CIA, and Haftar has lingered ever since with an unclear role in the current military structure and a poor record of military command or loyalty among troops.

The fact remains that Libya's army is demoralized, weak and out-armed by the various militias and armed groups that have risen to fill the void of the central government throughout Libyan territory. Even if a faction of the military could rise up and overthrow the current government, it would be unable to arbitrate between the various militias and political factions that would vie to replace the General National Congress. If it sought to hold power, the military would almost assuredly face the risk of another civil war as the country's tens of thousands of revolutionaries moved to prevent another unelected dictatorship in Tripoli.

Geographic realities also severely impede the army's reach. The army functions mostly as the country's largest militia, and it can reliably secure and protect only Tripoli and its immediate environs. The country's protracted stalemate, already often beset with violence, would further descend into chaos. For these reasons -- internal dysfunction, poor communication and a lack of institutional power -- a rise of the Libyan military similar to that in Algeria or Egypt is unlikely, and even if it were to happen, there is little chance that it would lead to greater stability.

As the country heads shakily into the next period of transition, stakeholders from the various elements of Libyan society will all seek to pressure the General National Congress, the constitutional commission and the eventual permanent government to make sure that their interests are safeguarded and guaranteed within the structure of the constitution. While the militias have weapons, fighters and a key method of pressuring the central state -- shutting off vital energy flows -- the military is less a agile or capable threat. In its inability to secure and support the wavering transitional government, Libya's military has already, albeit unintentionally, undermined the capabilities of Libya's civilian leadership.

Read more: In Libya, Poor Prospects for a Coup | Stratfor
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #354 on: March 07, 2014, 04:32:49 AM »


Niger Extradites Qaddafi’s Son to Face Charges in Tripoli   Niger has extradited
<http://link.foreignpolicy.com/525443c6c16bcfa46f732b5d1gv1y.1455/UxiFdOYQAzU136YRCe0ac>
Muammar al-Qaddafi's son Saadi Qaddafi. The Libyan government had been seeking the
extradition since 2011 when Saadi was granted entry
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ccp
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« Reply #355 on: March 11, 2014, 07:20:54 PM »

This was discussed today on Dick Morris radio (actually a really good show - he is really interesting).   But I thought Libya took responsibility for Lockerbee and admitted it?

 undecided

******Ex-Iranian intel officer says Iran, not Libya, behind Lockerbie attack   

Ex-Iranian intel officer says Iran, not Libya, behind Lockerbie attack

March. 11, 2014 at 4:17 PM   |   1 Comment

EDINBURGH, Scotland, March 11 (UPI) -- The 1988 Lockerbie jetliner bombing was payback for the U.S. Navy's downing of an Iranian airliner six months earlier, an ex-Iranian intelligence officer says.
Abolghassem Mesbahi says Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini ordered the attack on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 290 people died, to avenge the accidental shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf by the USS Vincennes and left 270 people dead, the Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

The London newspaper said previously unreleased evidence that was to have been used in an appeal hearing for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence officer convicted of the bombing, supports Mesbahi's contention. The Lockerbie bombing was carried out by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command, the newspaper said the evidence suggests.

The Telegraph said documents obtained by the Arab television network al-Jazeera for a documentary called "Lockerbie: What Really Happened?" names key individuals allegedly involved in the attack.

The Telegraph said the new evidence puts the conviction of al-Megrahi in question and supports allegations the truth about Lockerbie was covered up by Britain and the United States to avoid angering Syria, a key player in the Middle East

Al-Megrahi, the only man convicted in the Lockerbie attack, dropped his appeal after being released from prison in 2009 because he was suffering from cancer, though he maintained his innocence until his death in 2012.

Al-Megrahi's conviction was based on the prosecution's theory that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had personally ordered the Lockerbie attack in retaliation for the U.S. bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi in 1986, in which Gadhafi's daughter was killed.

But Mesbahi contends it was Iran, not Libya, that sought revenge.

"Iran decided to retaliate as soon as possible," Mesbahi, who had reported directly to Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and now lives under a witness protection program in Germany, told al-Jazeera. "The decision was made by the whole system in Iran and confirmed by Ayatollah Khomeini.

"The target of the Iranian decision-makers was to copy exactly what happened to the Iranian Airbus. Everything exactly the same, minimum 290 people dead."

The newspaper reported the U.S. State Department said it wanted all those responsible for the Lockerbie attack brought to justice, while Britain's Foreign Office said the case remains open because investigators believe al-Megrahi didn't act alone.

The Iranian government had no comment on the documentary's findings, but has previously denied any involvement in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.


Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2014/03/11/Ex-Iranian-intel-officer-says-Iran-not-Libya-behind-Lockerbie-attack/UPI-51221394569068/#ixzz2vheOEkoK*******
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #356 on: March 11, 2014, 07:28:58 PM »

Maybe as part of ongoing negotiations the Iranians are trying to look more dangerous by claiming it as their deed?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #357 on: March 12, 2014, 11:02:46 AM »

Libya's Prime Minister Dismissed After Tanker Escapes
________________________________________
 
Libya's parliament held a vote of confidence Tuesday to dismiss Prime Minister Ali Zeidan over the failure to prevent an oil tanker from exporting oil from the rebel-controlled Sidra port. Defense Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has been named as Libya's interim prime minister. Despite a travel ban against Zeidan, Malta's prime minister reported that Zeidan had arrived in Malta Tuesday en route to a European country. Libyan authorities seized a North Korea-flagged tanker Monday after it attempted to leave Sidra port, however the tanker escaped the naval blockade overnight. The tanker -- the first vessel to have loaded oil from a rebel-held port since the separatist revolt erupted in July 2013 -- is estimated to have taken on at least 234,000 barrels of crude oil from the rebels. On Monday the parliament ordered an operation to liberate all rebel-held oil terminals. Special forces are expected to deploy within one week. In related news, the U.N. Security Council's Libya sanctions committee reported this week that Libya had become "a primary source of illicit weapons," and that trafficking from Libya was fueling conflict and instability on several continents.

==============

The last point about arms trafficking is one we have been making here for quite some time-- including the notion that the US should have been scarfing these weapons (including MANPADs) up as part of our helping the overthrow of Kadaffy , , ,
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G M
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« Reply #358 on: March 12, 2014, 07:35:23 PM »

Is Lurch enroute with a reset button?


Libya's Prime Minister Dismissed After Tanker Escapes
________________________________________
 
Libya's parliament held a vote of confidence Tuesday to dismiss Prime Minister Ali Zeidan over the failure to prevent an oil tanker from exporting oil from the rebel-controlled Sidra port. Defense Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has been named as Libya's interim prime minister. Despite a travel ban against Zeidan, Malta's prime minister reported that Zeidan had arrived in Malta Tuesday en route to a European country. Libyan authorities seized a North Korea-flagged tanker Monday after it attempted to leave Sidra port, however the tanker escaped the naval blockade overnight. The tanker -- the first vessel to have loaded oil from a rebel-held port since the separatist revolt erupted in July 2013 -- is estimated to have taken on at least 234,000 barrels of crude oil from the rebels. On Monday the parliament ordered an operation to liberate all rebel-held oil terminals. Special forces are expected to deploy within one week. In related news, the U.N. Security Council's Libya sanctions committee reported this week that Libya had become "a primary source of illicit weapons," and that trafficking from Libya was fueling conflict and instability on several continents.

==============

The last point about arms trafficking is one we have been making here for quite some time-- including the notion that the US should have been scarfing these weapons (including MANPADs) up as part of our helping the overthrow of Kadaffy , , ,

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #359 on: March 17, 2014, 10:36:39 AM »



U.S. Navy SEALs have seized a North Korean-flagged tanker loaded with oil from a rebel-held port in Libya. A separatist militia took control of the oil terminal in July 2013, demanding a greater share of the country's oil wealth. The tanker, the Morning Glory, evaded a naval blockade at the eastern port of Sidra last week, embarrassing the government and spurring the dismal of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. North Korea disavowed the ship, saying it did not provide authorization. According to the Pentagon, U.S. forces boarded the Morning Glory before dawn Monday in international waters off Cyprus, and took control of the tanker, at the request of the Libyan and Cypriot governments. The move may prevent further attempts by the rebels to sell oil on the black market. Meanwhile, a car bomb hit outside a military base in the eastern city of Benghazi killing at least five soldiers and wounding another 14 people.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #360 on: May 18, 2014, 06:47:19 PM »

Analysis

Fighting erupted in Libya's capital city on May 18 when a militia loyal to Lt. General Khalifa Hafter reportedly attacked the Libyan Parliament.  Earlier in the week Hafter-affiliated militias launched an operation against a February 17 Martyr's Brigade base in Benghazi. The government-aligned Martyr's Brigade is considered one of the biggest and best-armed Islamist militias in Libya. If the reports are confirmed, the assault on the Parliament in Tripoli means that Hafter’s forces are now engaged in battle across Libya’s two traditional seats of power. It is quite possible that Hafter is attempting to consolidate power in Libya, hoping to bring an end to the chaos that has wracked the country since the overthrow of the Gadhafi regime in 2011. It is believed that Hafter's broader intent is to push the Islamists out of Benghazi and oust the General National Congress from Tripoli, effectively taking control of Libya.

Haftar’s forces reportedly used airstrikes in their operations in Benghazi, though at this point Stratfor is unsure of the exact size and disposition of the force deployed to Tripoli, or indeed who may be allied with Haftar himself.

Haftar has a long relationship with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency that has been well documented in the press. He worked with the Americans to form an anti–Gadhafi militia in the 1980s that operated in the south of Libya, and from neighboring Chad. The militia was reportedly forced to leave Chad in 1991, prompting Hafter to move to the United States.

Last week 200 U.S. Marines were prepositioned in Sicily, on alert to respond to contingencies in Northern Africa. This troop movement could be an indication that the U.S. government was aware of Hafter’s planned operations, having the Marines ready in advance to reinforce the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli if the need arises.

At this point there are more questions than answers, but it is possible that this move could be more than just another short-term militia event in Tripoli. If this is a drive to consolidate power in Libya, the parliamentary attack could lead to extensive fighting between Hafter’s forces, allies and opposing militias in Tripoli and Benghazi.  Stratfor will keep a very close eye on Libya in the coming hours to further assess the situation.

===================================
If I am not mistaken, folks here should be able to see this:

http://www.stratfor.com/video/conversation-deteriorating-security-libya


« Last Edit: May 18, 2014, 06:49:13 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #361 on: May 22, 2014, 08:41:27 AM »

Retired Libyan General Khalifa Heftar, who has launched attacks on Islamist militias in Benghazi and on the Libyan government, has called on the judiciary to appoint an emergency cabinet and oversee parliamentary elections. Heftar called the country a "terrorist hub" and claimed the government had "fostered terrorism" and failed Libyans. Heftar's campaign, named "Libya's dignity" by supporters, got a boost when the country's top air defense commander, Juma al-Abani, and Culture Minister Habib Amin declared their support. The government said the operation was an attempted coup and Libya's new prime minister, Ahmed Maitiq, called for negotiations to end the political crisis.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #362 on: July 24, 2014, 02:41:52 PM »


Summary

News of an impending deal to bring oil exports back online is likely to create more problems for Libya's embattled central government rather than solve them. After the fall of Moammar Gadhafi's regime, Tripoli has found that such deals usually trigger a larger competition between various armed groups demanding often-competing concessions, further destabilizing the country. As long as Libya depends on cooperation from the various armed groups within its borders to maintain stability, its reliance on negotiating and granting concessions (rather than using force) to end protests and fighting will perpetuate the very pattern of extortion and violence by militias that Tripoli is trying to end.

Analysis

Libyan media outlets are reporting that members of the government-funded Petroleum Facilities Guards and Tripoli have reached an initial deal allowing for a temporary resumption of exports at the 90,000 barrels-per-day Marsa el Brega loading facility in eastern Libya. The deal, brokered by tribal elders from Marsa el Brega, is provisional. The guards whose protests closed the facility last week are demanding pay increases and, more controversially, the reinstatement of Brig. Idris Bukhamada, the former commander of the Petroleum Facilities Guards. The protestors are giving the government 20 days to meet their demands, though this process likely will be complicated by the impending dissolution of the outgoing General National Congress in favor of a new transitional political body, the House of Representatives, expected to take place in early August.

Bukhamada was removed in deals between the General National Congress and a group of renegade Petroleum Facilities Guards in April and earlier this month. Ibrahim Jathran, a former regional commander of the Petroleum Facilities Guards and leader of the breakaway group that has kept much of Libya's eastern oil exports offline for nearly a year, demanded that his forces be reincorporated into the larger body of the guards. Leveraging his control over the majority of eastern Libyan export capacity, Jathran also pushed the government to appoint new leadership for the force, effectively ousting Bukhamada, his professional and regional rival. The replacement was Ali al-Arash, a man seen as closer to Jathran than to the government and whose leadership has been contested and ultimately rejected by the Bukhamada loyalists within the Petroleum Facilities Guards.
Libya's Urban and Rural Power Centers
Click to Enlarge

The episode underscores the difficulty in reaching lasting arrangements in Libya's increasingly fragmented political and social order. Stratfor has long noted the temporary nature of agreements reached by the weak central government and the highly competitive tribal, militia and ethnic groups that have dominated post-Gadhafi Libya. It is nearly impossible to make concessions to one group without angering its competitors, and nearly all of the rival groups are able to control and take critical infrastructure -- including airports, pumping stations, oil refineries and export terminals -- offline.

The outgoing government and its successor body now must choose to either acquiesce to the demands of Bukhamada's supporters at Marsa el Brega and bring the terminal and its airstrip back online, or placate Jathran, whose forces still guard the bulk of eastern Libya's export capacity. While Jathran is present at more ports, Bukhamada's cousin, Col. Wanis Bukhamada, is head of Bengahzi's Sawaiq special forces currently fighting alongside retired Gen. Khalifa Hifter's anti-Islamist forces in the east.

The embattled central government's considerations go beyond pay scales and leadership structures of embittered petroleum guards into broader issues of renegade national forces, anti-incumbency movements and a risk of larger-scale fighting between the country's many competing armed groups. The central government will have a difficult time reaching a deal with one group of Petroleum Facilities Guards that does not violate the terms of its deal with the other, and risks angering both -- resulting in cutoffs of all or some of Libya's eastern oil terminals. Those on strike are unlikely to modify or lessen their respective demands, making a limited restart followed by a partial shutoff or delay from either Marsa el Brega or other eastern terminals the most realistic outcome. Such an outcome would occur within weeks rather than months

This unpredictability and the government's lack of enforcement capabilities is causing other larger, structural issues for a government keen to export what oil it can while some fields and terminals are still open. Buyers are demanding discounts -- rumored to be between $1-2 per barrel for now -- for spot purchases, making it more difficult for the National Oil Company to sign months-long supply contracts to traders who are wary of Libya's ability to guarantee stable, ongoing supply deals. After nearly a year of halted exports, Libyan crude supplies have become largely displaced in international markets. Buyers are also hesitant to buy Libyan crude blends of volatile and unknown quality at current prices, especially since the central government has been prevented from testing crude flows into coastal storage tanks and monitoring the additional processing necessary to refine crude blends.

Tripoli now has to deal with a national force tasked with protecting its oil fields and infrastructure that effectively is split into two camps: Jathran supporters and Bukhamada supporters, with both possessing questionable loyalty at best to the national government. Regional militias and tribal and ethnic groups continue to maintain a disjointed system of local fiefdoms, largely preventing the national government from controlling their oil resources and critical infrastructure. This scenario makes it quite probable that either Marsa el Brega or other eastern terminals, such as Ras Lanuf and As Sidra, will start cutting off oil exports again in the near future as Libya destabilizes rapidly beyond the point of political reconciliation.

Read more: Oil Export Deal Could Further Destabilize Libya | Stratfor
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #363 on: July 26, 2014, 01:50:30 PM »



http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/26/us-evacuates-embassy-libya-amid-violent-clashes-be/
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« Reply #364 on: August 25, 2014, 11:36:15 AM »

Leading with your behind can lead to this.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/25/world/africa/libyan-unrest.html?emc=edit_th_20140825&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0
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« Reply #365 on: August 25, 2014, 11:52:43 AM »

second post today:

And without our "permission"!  rolleyes

Emirates and Egypt Said to Secretly Attack Militia in Libya

Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly teamed up to launch airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation between the supporters and opponents of political Islam.

The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington or seeking its consent, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied the operation to American diplomats, the officials said.

The strikes are the most high-profile and high-risk salvo unleashed in a struggle for power that has broken out across the region in the aftermath of the Arab Spring revolts, pitting old-line Arab autocrats against Islamists.

READ MORE »
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/26/world/middleeast/egypt-and-united-arab-emirates-said-to-have-secretly-carried-out-libya-airstrikes.html?emc=edit_na_20140825

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« Reply #366 on: August 28, 2014, 04:07:25 PM »

 The Difficulty of Choosing Sides in Libya
Analysis
August 28, 2014 | 0415 Print Text Size

Fighters from the Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) coalition guard the entrance to the Tripoli International Airport on Aug. 24. (MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)
Summary

Weeks of fighting to the south of the Libyan capital have resulted in an uneasy stalemate. The lull came after Islamist fighters backed by the powerful coastal city of Misrata successfully ousted the Zentan-based al-Qaaqaa and al-Sawaaq militias from Tripoli International Airport. Misrata is Libya's third-largest city and has maintained a remarkable degree of localized stability and security, while the larger cities of Tripoli and Benghazi have grappled with repeated bouts of violence, militant activity and cuts in water and power supplies. The renewed presence and authority of the Misrata-backed brigades in Tripoli after their ouster in November 2013 will have broader political and security implications for Libya's post-revolutionary transition.

Early champions in the fight against former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Misrata's political and militia leaders are attempting to leverage their strong presence in the capital to achieve broader national authority, a move that has sparked a violent and chaotic competition for power in the process. Neighboring countries and international observers are uneasy with the growing instability within Libya's borders, but calls for international intervention to prop up Libya's struggling transitional government will continue to be confounded by the difficulty of establishing who legitimately represents the fragmented and chaotic post-Gadhafi state.

Analysis

On Aug. 27, the U.N. Security Council passed resolution 2174 authorizing sanctions against individuals and groups that undermine Libya's political transition, as well as those who attack ports, diplomatic offices and key infrastructure. Libya has also been under an arms embargo since the 2011 revolution, though it has done little to halt the proliferation and transfer of weapons across its vast deserts and into neighboring states. Even though Libya's newly installed transitional government, the House of Representatives, issued multiple requests for foreign intervention to help stabilize the country, outside observers, including the United Nations, the United States and NATO, balked at the idea of placing troops on the ground to help limit violence and support Libya's political transition.

There are multiple conflicts spanning the Libyan political space. Competition between advocates of either a centralized or federal model of governance brought much of Libya's oil exports offline for over a year. Meanwhile, regional, sectarian, ethnic and tribal disputes regularly erupt in armed clashes that affect urban centers and target key infrastructure installations. The return of groups from Misrata to Tripoli is itself part of a larger battle that has turned Benghazi and the region south of Tripoli into battlefields, pitting foreign-backed forces organized under retired Libyan Gen. Khalifa Hifter's Operation Dignity campaign against alliances of jihadist and Islamist forces. In Benghazi, Islamist militias that are rumored to be supported by states such as Qatar and Turkey have partnered with jihadist groups like Ansar al-Sharia to fight Hifter's forces, while in western Libya -- and specifically the area around Tripoli -- Misrata-backed regional fighters allied with Islamist forces under Operation Dawn have banded against Hifter's Zentan-based allies, the al-Qaaqaa and al-Sawaaq brigades.
Libya's Urban and Rural Power Centers
Click to Enlarge

Hifter's rumored foreign backing, demonstrated by alleged Egyptian and Emirati coordinated airstrikes against Operation Dawn targets in Tripoli and claims of his cooperation with the CIA, has left much of Libya's powerful network of nationalistic tribes and militias apprehensive of directly engaging in fighting against other forces on his behalf, despite many regional centers' growing fear of the rising regional clout of Misrata and its Islamist allies. Herein lies the challenge for outside observers, including the United States and NATO: The international community is concerned about the geographic space Libya's post-revolutionary chaos has made available to regional militants, but fighters within the current battlefield spectrum -- from Misrata-backed forces, to Islamist fighters, to the divided national army -- do not always fit neatly into the category of ally or foe. There are serious fears that a foreign intervention launched to tackle jihadists or renegade militias could quickly turn into a broader conflict between foreign forces and the very revolutionaries that they trained and armed to fight Gadhafi.

The United States' and Libya's primary partners in NATO -- the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy -- have all publicly decried the alleged Emirati airstrikes in Libya, warning against adding violence to the country's already volatile security situation. Western states, the United Nations and neighboring Algeria and Tunisia are calling for a "political process" to solve Libya's problems. Since early August, Libya's struggling national parliament, the House of Representatives, has convened in Tobruk instead of Benghazi as originally planned because of security concerns. Some 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) away from the nation's capital, the internationally recognized parliament has struggled to make its voice heard in the power centers of Tripoli, Misrata, Zentan and Benghazi.

In response to the most recent ouster of the Hifter-aligned Zentan militias in Tripoli, members of the defunct General National Congress have reconvened in the capital, leaving Libya with two competing parliaments, a divided army and an uncertain political future. Clashes and violence are inevitable, and covert involvement by states -- particularly Egypt and its primary Gulf backers, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- is likely. The competition for legitimacy between the two parliaments will also likely extend into a fight for control of the country's sizable oil revenues and the right to receive revenues from export cargos -- a dispute that will probably cause production and exports to falter yet again. Additionally, the decision by Libya's more moderate Islamists to reject their erstwhile jihadist partners after their gains against the Zentan militias may reflect a desire to portray a more moderate disposition but also risks pushing the jihadists to target the more moderate Islamist militias as well as the Operation Dignity forces lead by Hifter.

Libya's democratic transition will remain stagnant until Libyans themselves can coalesce across tribal and regional lines to form a majority body that external governments can more effectively support. Even then, Libya will likely face a broader conflict than the ongoing localized fighting between regional competitors as the national government attempts to bring opposition forces -- of which Libya has many -- under a single national authority through either coercion or force. Outside powers such as the United States are still unwilling to designate who is "good" or "bad" within Libya's divided landscape, and even power centers such as Misrata remain too fundamentally weak to extend authority beyond their immediate geography, leaving Libya without any force that can operate on a national scale. A foreign intervention in Libya still seems unlikely, and there are few indigenous solutions to keep the country from moving closer to an eventual de facto fragmentation along its internal fissures. Meanwhile, Libya remains without a permanent government, national Cabinet or expectations of a constitution or national elections before the end of 2014 -- in short, without an effective domestic entity that is capable of working with outside governments.

Read more: The Difficulty of Choosing Sides in Libya | Stratfor
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« Reply #367 on: August 31, 2014, 07:39:30 PM »

Not a terribly reliable source, but the story sure is plausible:

http://www.tpnn.com/2014/08/31/report-islamist-terrorists-overtake-u-s-embassy-in-libya/
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« Reply #368 on: September 02, 2014, 07:09:55 PM »

not just swimming...
http://freebeacon.com/national-security/missing-libyan-jetliners-raise-fears-of-suicide-airliner-attacks-on-911/
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« Reply #369 on: September 02, 2014, 07:12:55 PM »

Jane's: "not likely to be credible".

http://www.janes.com/article/42080/algerian-reports-of-jihadist-attack-threat-using-commercial-aircraft-stolen-from-libya-unlikely-to-be-credible
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« Reply #370 on: September 02, 2014, 08:13:05 PM »

Thank you for the follow up-- which exemplifies our code here:  "We search for Truth."
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« Reply #371 on: September 03, 2014, 04:36:01 PM »

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/09/photos-posted-of-captured-commercial-planes-at-tripoli-international-airport/

Jane's wrong?
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« Reply #372 on: September 08, 2014, 05:32:54 PM »

You're welcome, Mark.

Regarding the planes, the photos are pretty hard to deny it seems.  One thing I have wondered about was the recent UAE/ Egyptian strikes on the area "near the airport" I had read.
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« Reply #373 on: September 09, 2014, 10:35:25 AM »

Mike:

I had not put together the missing airliners and the UAE/Egypt attack. Good attention to detail.

Marc (with a "c")
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« Reply #374 on: September 09, 2014, 11:03:08 AM »

Sorry, I think you corrected me on that before...  My dad was Mark with a "k", force of habit.   embarassed
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« Reply #375 on: September 09, 2014, 11:05:33 AM »

And, regarding the airliners, not to belabor the theory, but they also would potentially have 'motive', especially the Egyptians...  I read someplace that if commercial jets were launched form Libya, that they would have literally "minutes" to react as far away as Saudi Arabia.  The threat being a transhipment facility or something in an effort to destabilize world markets.
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« Reply #376 on: September 11, 2014, 09:20:06 PM »


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External Powers Have Good Reason Not to Intervene in Libya
Analysis
September 10, 2014 | 1108 Print Text Size
External Powers Have Good Reason Not to Intervene in Libya
A Libyan flag flutters under a bridge near Tripoli on Sept. 9. (MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)
Summary
France continues to focus attention on Libya. Most recently, on Sept. 9 the Elysee issued a call for joint international action in the North African country. While France stopped short of discussing military intervention, Stratfor sources say that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have approached Paris about just such an option, and they may also approach the United States.
 
Countries wanting to intervene in Libya face considerable constraints, and the objectives that could be attained are unclear. Regional actors will probably continue to be those most involved in direct and indirect interventions in Libya.
Analysis
Egypt and the Emiratis have been the most overt supporters of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives that was elected in June and of retired Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who leads a coalition of Libyan troops, loyalists to former Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi and a special operations forces unit against Islamist militias in eastern Libya. Saudi Arabia has also supported Hifter, but less visibly. Egypt wants to remove the Islamist threat on its western border, or at the very least ensure that Libya's Islamist actors only play a minimal role in the government. Cairo is wary of militancy spreading across its borders, and Egypt has propped up actors such as Hifter's Operation Dignity forces and the democratically elected House in an attempt to establish a buffer in eastern Libya. Egypt has a limited capacity to address Libyan unrest due to insecurity at home and a dire financial situation, so Cairo has come to depend on the Emiratis and Saudis to back its interests in Libya.
 
By backing Egypt in Libya, the United Arab Emirates is seizing an opportunity to prevent rival Qatar from regaining leverage in North Africa. Having solidified their influence in Cairo, the Emiratis would rather not see this undermined by instability generated by Islamists in neighboring Libya. Abu Dhabi has a tense relationship with its own domestic Muslim Brotherhood movement, al Islah, and would like to see Qatar's leverage with Islamist communities held to a minimum. The United Arab Emirates has also joined Egypt in limited airstrikes over Libya, deploying aircraft from Egyptian air bases. These airstrikes have had at best a minimal effect on the situation on the ground.
 
Striving to turn the security situation around in Libya, Abu Dhabi and Egypt have purportedly turned to Paris for help. France has notable interests in the region -- energy, military basing and arms trade -- and Cairo and Abu Dhabi are hoping the French are willing to consider a serious intervention. France has repeatedly pushed the issue before the U.N. Security Council, but so far France has stopped far short of anything that suggests a full-scale intervention. Paris did announce Sept. 9 that it could deploy forces based in countries bordering Libya in an attempt to shore up border security, but that would not be a substantial commitment.
 
 
France also has the ability to mount a wider air campaign over Libya, but the effects of this would likely be minimal and France would probably avoid carrying the full weight of such an intervention. Other Western allies, such as the United States, have announced support for the Libyan government but have been reluctant to match that support with direct military efforts -- anything beyond training elements of the Libyan armed forces. Even Italy -- which sits close to Libya, has direct energy interests there and is vulnerable to streams of immigrants seeking refuge on European shores -- doesn’t want to overcommit. During the air campaign in 2011, Rome only dedicated a portion of its full capabilities to operations in Libya.
Regional Actors' Limitations
Qatar has been active in Libya but has sought to support anyone who is not pro-Hifter or supportive of the elected House. Doha was the leading Arab force in toppling the Gadhafi regime in 2011, going so far as to deploy its highly trained special operations forces. Qatar's currency reserves have allowed Doha to funnel cash and weapons to militias in Libya.
 
The distance between Qatar and Libya limits Doha's involvement; there are no nearby friendly bases from which it could stage operations. Turkey has offered Qatar some limited backing because Ankara saw Egypt's deposed President Mohammed Morsi as a key ally and would prefer not to see Egypt dislodge another entrenched Islamist polity, this time in Libya. Access to cheap energy and potential infrastructure bids for the firms that support Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling party have also compelled Turkish involvement, but Libya simply is not high enough of a Turkish priority to justify a level of engagement similar to that of Qatar.
 
Doha has also likely worked through Sudan to deliver arms to Libya, which puts it in direct competition with Egyptian and Saudi interests for influence in Khartoum. The Sudanese military industrial complex is useful in directing secondhand support of armed groups, but Sudan depends on investments and loans from both Qatar and Saudi Arabia to keep its economy going. Conflicting influences could therefore limit Sudan's usefulness in this particular situation.
 
Even if the actors backing Tobruk and Hifter's forces want to increase their active support, they would have to act cautiously because their assistance would undermine the credibility of the supported militias in Libya itself. Further, the effect of an air campaign would be fairly limited. Only a few Islamist groups would be targeted so as not to antagonize the Libyan population at large. While this could ease the pressure on Hifter's forces, targeting groups such as Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi would only have temporary benefits. The targeted militias could simply deploy forces that are being held back right now because they are not necessary. Any air campaign over Libya would thus be mostly a token intervention with little real chance of stabilizing Libya.
 
An airstrikes offensive against Islamist militias in cities such as Tripoli and Benghazi would be difficult, and to have a lasting effect it would need to be followed by intense state-building operations that would require a level of commitment nobody is willing to offer. External actors will remain reluctant to move forward with such a campaign.

Read more: External Powers Have Good Reason Not to Intervene in Libya | Stratfor
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« Reply #377 on: October 16, 2014, 08:22:51 AM »


Libyan army troops aligned with former General Khalifa Heftar have intensified a ground assault and airstrikes against a coalition of Islamist militias in the eastern city of Benghazi. The offensive has come a day after Heftar vowed to "liberate" Benghazi in a televised address following an attack by militants from Ansar al-Sharia on one of the last army bases controlled by government forces in the city. The Associated Press reported two Egyptian officials said Egyptian warplanes were attacking Islamist militias in Libya, though Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi denied the report. Egypt has pledged to train Libyan soldiers, and in Heftar's address Tuesday, he thanked countries that had helped in his fight against what he referred to as "terrorism."


Egotistically I note that this was something I discussed in my proffered strategy.
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