David Cameron's 'Ill-Conceived' Libya War Led to Rise of Daesh: British MPs

News ID: 1186191 Service: Other Media
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TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Former British prime minister David Cameron’s “ill-conceived” military intervention in Libya led to the rise of Daesh (ISIL) in North Africa according to a scathing report from MPs.

The former Prime Minister took the country to war against Col Muammar Gaddafi on a series of “erroneous assumptions” and then drifted into an “opportunistic” policy of regime change that left Libya in chaos.

Attacking Mr. Cameron’s leadership, MPs accuse him of misunderstanding what was happening on the ground, and doing too little to find a political way to get the dictator to stand down.

The Government launched airstrikes after exaggerated threats that Col Gaddafi was about to massacre civilians in Benghazi, and failed to spot significant numbers of extremists were among the rebels, MPs say.

The report from the influential Commons foreign affairs committee comes just days after Mr. Cameron stepped down as an MP and attacks an intervention he once claimed as a foreign policy triumph.

The MPs conclude, “It is difficult to disagree with this pithy assessment.”

The 49-page report finds Britain in fact had no plan for what to do once Col Gaddafi was gone, the Telegraph reported.

It says, “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 [Daesh] in North Africa.”

David Cameron was “ultimately responsible” for the failure in strategy.

Crispin Blunt MP, Tory chairman of the committee, said the intervention was “very much Mr. Cameron’s production”.

He said, “The UK’s actions in Libya were part of an ill-conceived intervention, the results of which are still playing out today.”

UK policy before and after military action began in March 2011 was “founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the country and the situation,” he said.

“Other political options were available. Political engagement might have delivered civilian protection, regime change and reform at a lesser cost to the UK and Libya.

“The UK would have lost nothing by trying these instead of focusing exclusively on regime change by military means.”

The inquiry, which took evidence from figures including Lord Hague, Dr. Liam Fox, Tony Blair, military chiefs and academics, says Libya has since become a haven for Daesh militants.

As well as seizing bases in Sabratha, Derna and Sirte, they have also trained terrorists such as Seifeddine Rezgui who massacred British holiday makers in Sousse last year.

Col Gaddafi spent £30bn on weapons including anti-aircraft missiles during his reign and stowed many of them in warehouses.
By failing to secure these stockpiles in 2011, the West allowed arms to get into the hands of terrorist groups across North Africa.

Britain and its allies “inability to secure weapons abandoned by the Gaddafi regime fueled instability in Libya and enabled and increased terrorism across North and West Africa and the Middle East”, the report says.

As the one of the leaders of the coalition, Britain had a "particular responsibility" to support Libyan reconstruction but the failure to establish security of on the ground meant it was an "impossible task".

The MPs warn the international community must now get behind the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) to prevent the country descending into all-out civil war.

But they caution that while British troops could help train Libyan forces they should not be sent if they would inflame anti-Western feeling or be an easy target for Daesh.

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