Libya, where hundreds of militias hold sway and the central government is virtually powerless, is awash in millions of weapons with no control over their trafficking. The arms free-for-all fuels not only Libya’s instability but also stokes conflicts around the region as guns are smuggled through the country’s wide-open borders to militants fighting in insurgencies and wars stretching from Syria to West Africa.
The lack of control is at times stunning. Last month, militia fighters stole a planeload of weapons sent by Russia for Libya’s military when it stopped to refuel at Tripoli International Airport on route to a base in the south. The fighters surrounded the plane on the tarmac and looted the shipment of automatic weapons and ammunition, Hashim Bishr, an official with a Tripoli security body under the Interior Ministry, told The Associated Press.
In a further indignity, the fighters belonged to a militia officially assigned by the government to protect the airport, since regular forces are too weak to do it.
Only a few weeks earlier, another militia seized a weapons’ shipment that landed at Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport meant for the military’s 1st Battalion, Bishr said. Among the weapons were heavy anti-aircraft guns, which are a pervasive weapon among the militias and are usually mounted on the back of pickup trucks.
Europe is alarmed and in rides Kerry:
The weapons chaos has alarmed Europe — just a short distance across the Mediterranean — and the United States. At a conference in Rome this month, Western and Arab diplomats, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, pressed Libyan officials to reach some political consensus so the international community can help the government collect weapons and rebuild the military and police.
You just have to shake your head at this idiocy. Obama went to war without congressional approval, took out a dictator to score some political points, and now the world is paying the price…as many here said would happen.
The situation created by NATO is strikingly similar in outcome to Somalia, where warlords control territory and Mogadishu has little sway. Warlords aren’t going to give up their power unless it’s taken from them, and in both cases the chaos allows terrorist networks to grow, train, and metastasize — and that nearly caused the fall of Mali, which the French finally prevented by putting boots on the ground to control the situation.
The only way this situation will stabilize is for an overwhelming force to occupy Libya, disarm or destroy the militias, and re-establish order over several years while withstanding insurgencies and turmoil. If the West did not have the stomach to do that up front, when it would have dealt with much weaker militias, then it shouldn’t have forced the collapse of the existing regime in the first place. Instead, the US and NATO created a second Somalia on the Mediterranean, and now Europe will pay the price for it.
Eh, what does Obama care? He got re-elected and soon will be sent out to pasture while the middle east burns.
Arab Spring my ass. Any neophyte in foreign policy would of understood the consequences of the actions he took, but not this jackwagon.