Sunday, December 06, 2015

France Could Make a Difference If They Think Straight

There seems to be some progress in getting the non-ISIL factions in Libya to work together. This seems like a great opportunity for France to make a decisive effort to defeat ISIL in Libya.

We've seen diplomatic efforts before, so my hopes aren't too high for this in isolation, but it is good:

Warring Libyan factions meeting in Tunisia said Sunday they had reached an agreement to be approved by rival parliaments on ending the political deadlock that has plagued the country since Moamer Kadhafi's overthrow.

"This is a historic moment the Libyans were waiting for, the Arabs were waiting for and the world was waiting for," said Awad Mohammed Abdul-Sadiq, the first deputy head of the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC).

Military power needs to support this effort to sustain it and defeat the threats to the potentially historic moment. I doubt that the factions have the power to defeat ISIL, which is growing in strength in Libya.

This is where France comes in, of course. I continue to believe that France should lead an effort to defeat ISIL in Libya rather than add military power to the effort in Syria and Iraq.

Seriously, does France want to be a minor player in the Syria-Iraq theater against ISIL or does France want to take the lead in the Libya theater?

UPDATE: France might want to get a sense of urgency for removing sources of instability in North Africa before something bad happens to Algeria.

And maybe NATO's view that it won't send ground troops to fight ISIL in Syria leaves the door open for Libya:

NATO has ruled out sending ground troops to fight against Islamic State militants in Syria, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg told a Swiss newspaper, stressing the need to bolster local forces in the conflict.

A Libya front has the advantage of being a problem smaller in scope than Syria; closer to southern Europe; and doesn't involve risk of combat with Russian forces.

So who knows? France should really get on this.