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The Final Warning: ‘US Should Keep Its Sword Sheathed’ in Libya

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Is it time to launch a “decisive military action” in Libya? US analyst on national security and foreign policy Daniel L. Davis notes that US senior officials should think twice before unleashing another war in the North African country.

As violence grows in Libya, the question arises if it is the time for Washington to order “decisive military action” against Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) in the country; however, there is almost no evidence to suggest that using force in Libya will mend the crisis, retired Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis stresses.

“There is almost no evidence to suggest using force in Libya will improve the situation — and plenty of examples in the past two decades to suggest that it would do just the opposite: Afghanistan 2001-present, Pakistan (drone war, 2005-present), Iraq (2003-11, 14-present), Yemen (drone war, 2009-present), Libya 2011 and Syria 2014-present — the violence and instability in every single one of those locations is far greater today than it was before we intervened militarily,” the US analyst writes in his article for The National Interest.

A view shows damage at the scene after an airstrike by U.S. warplanes against Islamic State in Sabratha, Libya, in this February 19, 2016 handout picture

Davis notes that back in 2011America’s “ill-advised airstrikes” had only made matters worse in Libya. The North African country has eventually devolved into a failed state. Although Libyan leader Gaddafi ruled oppressively, no one would argue that the country’s people have found themselves in a far more deplorable state now.”Without a doubt, the political, security and humanitarian situations in Libya are all profoundly worse today than before Western military intervention,” Davis notes.

Those who are lobbying for an invasion of Libya led by the West in order to curtail Daesh’s advance should ask themselves whether “injecting yet more armed violence into Libya will improve security.”

On Sunday, a UN-backed Presidential Council in Libya reported that the parties had reached compromise regarding a revised national unity government.

However, on Tuesday Libya’s parliament decided to postpone for seven days a vote on a list of ministers despite the international concerns over the threat posed by Daesh and affiliated jihadi forces to the country.

According to Davis, a new military operation in Libya would throw a monkey wrench in the peaceful developments in the region. He expressed concerns that in the result of violence new forces may emerge and take the power despite the will of the Libyan people.

Canadian Armed Forces Chief of the Defense Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance

Salman Rafi Sheikh, a research analyst specializing in international and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, shared similar concerns in his article for New Eastern Outlook published in early February.

According to the analyst, Western powers may jump at the opportunity to use a new national unity government in Libya for legitimization of their potential military campaign.

“The key question here is: if the West is, after all, going to militarily intervene in Libya, why does it need to install a national unity government in the first place? The answer lies in their Syria experience. As opposed to the West’s way of [conducting] illegitimate interventions across the world, the Russian military campaign against Islamist forces in Syria is fully legitimate in that it started only after Russia was invited by the Syrian authorities,” Sheikh warned.

Davis insists that the US war planners should think twice before launching a full-scale military operation.