National Security Desk / May 17, 2016

Obama Repeating National Security Mistakes in Libya

History repeats, the old adage goes.

The situation in Libya has become so dire that the United States is planning on ferrying arms to the country in hopes that its weak government can defeat the Islamic State. Where have we heard this before? The Obama administration expects the teetering Iraqi government to pull it together long enough to score some major wins in Ramadi and Mosul. And Syrian rebels armed by the United States are now using those arms to fight each other. History repeats, the old adage goes.

Obama is mirroring his Iraq strategy down to the boots on the ground. U.S. Special Forces helped call in an airstrike last week in Somalia. Furthermore, Special Ops have been in Libya since 2015, organizing militias to fight the Islamic State. In short, Obama is downplaying the conflict in Libya, sending a smattering of U.S. troops and telling a faltering government to pull itself up by its bootstraps

This is a strategy that does not contain the Islamic State, as the commander in chief claims. A bipartisan report issued by the Center for a New American Security said the Obama administration made a series of “misjudgments and failures in the Middle East.” This has left an Islamic State that will grow in its ability to further attack the West. To prevent that, the United States must significantly increase its involvement, the report concludes. And to think Democrats want to hand the White House to a woman whose policies as secretary of state destabilized the state in the first place.

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