Will they never learn?

In March 2011, the United Kingdom and France, with the support of the United States, led the international community to support an intervention in Libya to protect civilians from attacks by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi. This policy was not informed by accurate intelligence. In particular, the Government failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element. By the summer of 2011, the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change. That policy was not underpinned by a strategy to support and shape post-Gaddafi Libya. The result was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of ISIL in North Africa. Through his decision making in the National Security Council, former Prime Minister David Cameron was ultimately responsible for the failure to develop a coherent Libya strategy.

[Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK parliament]

Absent from this assessment (in the summary at any rate) is any admission of the enormous human suffering which this “opportunist policy of regime change” has led to. Not only the thousands killed by UK and French war-planes. Not only the break-down of a once functioning country – and the rise of extremist Islamic factions. But the suffering caused by the migrant crisis in the Mediterrean. The last two, incidentally, predicted by Colonel Gaddafi.

And the same suffering is being planned for Syria. By the same people. Again. (David Cameron is hardly the root cause of this addiction to sloppy regime change operations in the West at the moment).

It is apparently a hall-mark of British ‘democracy’ that they can kill thousands, litter the field with orphans, and then coolly issue a report acknowledging the lack of a “coherent strategy”.

Perhaps that is better than no report. But it would save a lot of lives if some people in the Foreign Office, in the army, in the arms industry and in all the other unseen echelons of power where democracy does not reach would read the damn thing.


The report in full. Foreign Affairs Committee report on Libya

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer