Monday, August 25, 2014

Egypt's Fingerprints?

Libya's parliament has moved to Tobruk in the east to compete with the jihadi parliament in Tripoli.

A Libyan general from the east (Hiftar) is leading an anti-jihadi coalition to unify Libya. He could easily be drawing support from Egypt (and us, indirectly)

Somebody is bombing the jihadi-held Tripoli airport, and experts doubt any Libyans are capable of launching nightime precision attacks.

I suspect Egypt is involved in this. They have an interest in Libya where 500,000 Egyptians live.

Egypt has fought Libya before (under Khadaffi) and has sent more troops to their border with Libya.

Egypt denies they are involved "until now." Perhaps they are not telling the truth.

Or perhaps the Israeli-Egyptian cooperation against Hamas has extended to Libya. If Egypt hasn't launched air strikes until now, it may be because they aren't quite ready. Perhaps Israel is filling the gap in capabilities until Egypt can strike.

See here and here.

UPDATE: Ah. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are hitting the Libyan jihadis:

The United Arab Emirates and Egypt have carried out a series of airstrikes in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, U.S. officials said Monday, marking an escalation in the chaotic war among Libya’s rival militias that has driven American and other diplomats from the country.

The Obama administration did not know ahead of time about the highly unusual military intervention, although the United States was aware that action by Arab states might come as the crisis in Libya worsened, said one official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Note that we weren't in the loop on this decision.

When you try to pretend that "leading from behind" is just more clever leading, eventually an ally just does what they want regardless of our input.

UPDATE: When you can't see our fingerprints, naturally other fingerprints are found.

UPDATE: This article says that it is ridiculous to think we didn't know who did it and it is good because it shows Arab states will work for our objectives:

Whatever the reason the White House wants us to think it was shocked—shocked!—that the Emiratis and Egyptians did this, the Obama administration should now move swiftly to capitalize on what could be a game-changer in the war against Islamist terror, and specifically against the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL).

Why is it a game-changer? Because it marks the first time two Arab nations have teamed up to launch military operations against Islamists in a third. (The 2011 involvement of Saudi troops in putting down an Arab Spring uprising in Bahrain doesn’t count, because it wasn’t about Islamist terror, and because the Saudis were invited.) Even more important, it was the first time two Sunni Muslim nations struck radical Sunni groups in a third Sunni country.

Far be it for me to appear to be in the market for a bridge. But who is claiming that we didn't know Egypt was involved? The article naming Egypt and the UAE that I quoted said we didn't know ahead of time that the strike would be made--so it was done without consulting us.

And why does Egypt's involvement--given the reasons for Egypt to intervene in Libya that I noted--mean that other states in the Sunni Arab world will be willing to take on the problems in Syria and Iraq?

Remember, too, that Arab states participated in the original 2011 war that overthrew Khadaffi, including the UAE. I suspected Egypt was quietly involved but they may not have been given their own internal problems at the time.

So neither state's involvement now is much of a shock and if you think they are doing it for us, I'm in the bridge-selling business, too.

UPDATE: So who is buying bridges?

It took several days for U.S. intelligence analysts to figure out who carried out the airstrikes in Libya.

So even our monitoring ability isn't as good as I assumed.

Also, UAE aircraft carried out the strikes with Egypt's role limited to providing the bases.

When the administration eagerly leaks information to show we are really doing things about crises, why on Earth wouldn't the adminsitration claim we had a role in these strikes if we did have a role?