Ex-Gitmo detainee training Libyan rebels in Derna
The situation increasingly appears to be one in which the Western allies (for want of a better term) have misjudged the situation.
Looking at the situation through British interests;
- Gaddafi has to be defeated. We’ve publicly broken with him and cannot resurrect an understanding.
- The Libyan opposition is multi-polar in that it is made up of the army (for the most part), the rebel tribes and a small but potentially influential core of Islamists.
- The multi-polar nature of the opposition means that unless Western military intervention is dramatically stepped up, Gaddafi will win
- Without a consistent political objective to the war, if Gaddafi loses, the West might well discover itself to have a weak, unstable state with parts of the country acting as breeding grounds for Islamist terrorism.
- This possibility means that the ideal solution would be a much wider intervention in the form of a ground invasion and occupation and an imposed diplomatic settlement splitting Libya and Cyrenaica.
This may mean the need for a UN Mandate administration by one or more of the European powers and given the history of European involvement, I would argue that France is best placed for this role.
We need to face up to the reality of our situation in the world. That we will need to be imperialists once more.