Libya: An upcoming intervention in Africa?

By Scott Morgan

A Recent Statement by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff hinted that there will soon be US Boots on the Ground in Libya. Why is this course of action necessary? There are a couple of reasons and what seems to be the major threat may determine the mission of US Forces.

The two logical situations for a US Intervention will be to prevent the spread of Islamic Jihadism into neighboring states such as Tunisia and affecting other states that are vulnerable like Mali. The other scenario is to support NATO Members such as Greece, Spain and Italy who deal with the Migrant Issue.

Ports such as Misrata and Benghazi - which are of concern due to Jihadism and Arms Trafficking - are now major embarkation points for Migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa and other locations seeking sanctuary in Europe. Maritime Forces are being stretched thin in the Mediterranean as they try to mitigate the flow of migrants and to prevent them from drowning.

Therefore, it is imperative that some type of force be on Libyan Soil to provide Security in the Cities. Having centers to properly vet the background of those seeking new economic opportunities without being beholden to Criminal Elements is paramount to both the Safety of those in transit and Europe.

Regional Attacks by Al-Qaida in the Maghreb and their offshoots have placed West Africa on a tether. Weak and Vulnerable Governments in Mali, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso have been attacked in recent months. The nature of the attacks which have targeted Western Interests (mainly French) were resolved by timely intervention by French and US Special Forces.

Reading this data will lead one to remember the advice that Secretary of State Colin Powell offered to George Bush when the US decided to invade Iraq back in 2003: if you break it you own it. After the Overthrow of Qadaffi back in 2011 the blowback in the region has been enormous and violent. It also continues to this very day affecting several Nations in the region. Since the US Air Force flew Missions in support of some of the Insurgents there is some responsibility for the US to repair the damage it created.

Reports of Sudanese Army Units deploying to the Border and Egyptian Air Strikes inside the Country - after the killing of Copts who were seeking refuge in Europe - are just the tip of the Iceberg in highlighting the devastating effect instability in Libya has had in the rise of Jihadist Violence, not only in the Maghreb but also in the Sahel Region. One has to ask if this chaos could be part of the Legacy of the Obama Administration, one that the next President has to deal with during their term of office. It appears that Foreign Policy Matters are again just lurking under the Surface of Issues to be dealt with.

Could a change of leadership in Washington bring new ideas to deal with these contentious Issues? These issues although seemingly unconnected do have reasons to overlap. This could bring to light two of the least favorite words of any Soldier: Mission Creep. But for regional Security and the Image of the United States Libya has to be fixed.

(Image: Map of Libya - Google Images)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]


  1. I worry about Mission Creep too. Look at what happened in Iraq. Great job, Scott.

  2. And who will be responsible for the chaos that will ensue? Though I understand why Americans think they should go to Libya I don't think they should cause then they eventually would get to Nigeria and other countries next!

  3. Hi Morgan,

    Libya is a problem, indeed. But I'm not sure whether having US boots on the ground will fix it. Shouldn't the US instead convince the Arab states, and even North African ones along with Turkey, get together and try to solve the issue? I know it's complex but it's worthwhile thinking about it.

    Good job.



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