Exclusive: With Libya’s bloody “regime change” in 2011, the Obama administration and its European allies opened the door to anarchy and now the emergence of another Islamic State terror affiliate, but chaos and indecision continue to dominate the West’s reaction to the crisis, says Andres Cala.
By Andres Cala
U.S. Marines are expanding the U.S. military presence in Spain with eyes set on Libya’s escalating three-way civil war, which threatens to become a Syrian-like quagmire on Europe’s doorstep, an unintended consequence of the 2011 U.S.-European-led “regime change” that overthrew and killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
While there’s little chance — for now — that the Marines will get entangled in yet another military adventure, America’s European allies are fumbling the Libyan crisis, allowing the Islamic State (Daesh, ISIS, ISIL or whatever you call it) to exploit a power vacuum, though still far from taking over.
The agreement, signed this week and awaiting only ratification from Spain’s Parliament, will make the MorÃ³n de la Frontera air base in southern Spain into a permanent base of operations against jihadists in North Africa, covering not just Libya but also Mali, Tunisia and Algeria. Troops stationed there will swell from the 850 currently there under temporary agreements to 2,200, plus 500 civilians. The agreement also involves basing 26 aircraft.
MorÃ³n will house a forward-operating base with a potent armory and fast-reaction special-op teams to carry out elite counter-terrorism operations, like the one in 2013 when American forces captured an accused Libyan terrorist for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Or the 2014 capture of the alleged mastermind of the 2012 attack in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. diplomatic personnel.
And perhaps as a prelude to what is to come, there was the stealth air assault earlier this week in Libya (the first American one since the 2011 NATO campaign)…