Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Que Sera, Sera

ISIL (aka ISIS, Daesh, or Islamic State) in Libya is strengthening its hold. Why does France refuse to step up and take the lead in this section of the front in the war on jihadi terrorism before the terrorists strike France again?

This is not good:

ISIS now possesses a contiguous zone of control that includes a more than 200 km stretch of Libya’s coast, which ISIS confirmed as part of its Caliphate in August 2015. ISIS maintains between 5,000 and 6,500 fighters in Libya, according to the Pentagon’s latest count. The group is now both defending its stronghold in Sirte and pushing outward, imposing its rule on the population as it grows by establishing governance structures and enforcing shari’a law. U.S. leaders including Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter have acknowledged that ISIS’s Libya affiliate is chief among the organization’s increasingly dangerous “metastases” abroad.

Yet rather than step up and lead an assault on ISIL in Libya, which places Europe (including France) within easy reach of jihadis, France has rediscovered the bored affectation of nuance that allows them to sneer at the very notion of doing something about the barbarians threatening their walls.

Still, at least the British--perhaps stung by our president blaming them in particular for failing to stabilize Libya after the 2011 war--will do the job:

The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond's visit to Tripoli is intended to provide visible international backing for the fledgling Government of National Accord.

He also arrived with further practical assistance; £10m-worth of aid, in part intended to combat people smuggling and terrorism.

Well, all support short of actual support.

That backing stops well short of backing European ground forces (led by Italy, in the noted proposal) that would do anything as cautious as just training Libyans, let alone leading a fight against ISIL.

Whoever will die, will die, I suppose. The future's not ours, you see, if we don't fight for it.