U.S. Generals afraid of “Benghazi 2” as they ponder on intervention in Libya
As Washington prepares to take “decisive military action” in Libya against the alarming growth of ISIS, retired generals have told G2 Bulletin they are concerned that the United States may go it alone, according to a new report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
They ask which allies, if any, will join a coalition and attempt to work with a Libyan government that barely exists.
At a news conference last week, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. said the U.S. is “looking to take decisive military action” against ISIS in Libya and that a decision would be coming “in weeks” but “not hours.”
“It’s fair to say that we’re looking to take decisive military action against ISIS in conjunction with the political process” in Libya, Dunford said. “The president has made clear that we have the authority to use military force.”
ISIS is thought to have more than 3,000 fighters, with more flowing into Libya from Syria and Iraq, where the U.S., Russia and other countries have been carrying out intense airstrikes against the jihadist fighters.
Another ‘trillion-dollar failure’?
In October 2011, the U.S., France and Britain launched attacks that led to the overthrow of the government of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi. Since then, the country has not had a functional government. Warring factions of local jihadist groups are preoccupied fighting among themselves for dominance rather than taking on ISIS or coming together to form a government of national accord.
U.S. action in Libya, retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney told G2Bulletin in an email, “is the last thing we need to do!”
“Why spend (a trillion dollars) for another COIN (counterinsurgency) failure?”
Retired U.S. Adm. James Lyons Jr., who served as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet from 1985-1987, told G2Bulletin that McInerney’s concern about the possibility of unilateral U.S. action is “Spot on!”
Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely expressed similar concerns to G2Bulletin, concluding Dunford’s comments represent a military invasion by the Obama administration.
“I can’t even see Obama taking any offensive action anywhere like that,” Vallely said.
Vallely is chairman of the non-profit Stand Up America and the private Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, which is looking into the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi.
He said that if there is to be any such military action, it needs to include Egypt, which bombed ISIS locations in Libya after the February 2015 beheading of some 21 Libyan Coptic Christians who were working in the country.
Vallely also thought the Russians could join, especially if asked by Egypt, since Moscow has just concluded a $2 billion military arms deal with Cairo that includes helicopters, fighter jets, Kornet anti-tank weapons, the anti-ballistic missile system Antey-2500 and the Buk-2 surface-to-air missile system.
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