After the US and our NATO allies provided a bunch of weapons and military aid to a diverse hodgepodge of Libyan militias, who mainly only agreed on the fact they didn’t like Muammar Gaddafi, it now appears they are having trouble getting along. From The Guardian:
The Libyan leader, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, has vowed to use force to stop the country breaking up after leaders in an eastern region declared autonomy.
“We are not prepared to divide Libya,” he said, blaming infiltrators and pro-Gaddafi elements for backing the autonomy plan. “We are ready to deter them, even with force.”
His comments come amid mounting evidence that Libya is slowly splintering into a series of rival fiefdoms controlled by competing militias, who increasingly follow their own agendas rather than acting in the national interest.
Who could possibly have predicted that in a resource rich country, armed militias often based on strong tribal/regional identities might not choose to play nice with each other when there are billions in riches at stake. Didn’t our own country just have a very recent experience with another oil rich country, Iraq, that started a bloody internal conflict after we helped take out the nation’s long-time dictator?
I hope for the sake of the Libyan people that things go well there, but most of modern history makes me incredibly pessimistic.
I don’t care to debate whether or not Libya will be better off as a result of the United States helping to kill Gaddafi. That’s partly because it is unknowable and partly because such things can’t be properly judged until you see the long term ramifications.
What I do know is that since we foolishly chose to get involved in a war that had nothing to do with us, in the minds of many the United States will now share the blame for the sins committed by those we helped bring to power. It is as though our entire foreign policy is about assuring that we will create enough potential blowback to keep the CIA in business for another generation.