War on Terror

US Troop Deployment in Cameroon Partially a Consequence of Libya War

Intervention in Libya open-ended for the people of the region.

|

Africom

The U.S. intervention in Libya got a brief mention at Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate. Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner, defended the decision of the Obama administration, while she was secretary of state, to launch a military campaign in Libya, calling it a humanitarian intervention done at the behest of European and Arab power and an example of "smart power at its best."

Responding to criticism about the intervention from Jim Webb, another Democratic presidential candidate, Clinton said Obama "made the right decision" on Libya because it brought democracy to the country, which, she noted, held its first free election since 1951. The elections last year were marked by low turnout and clashes between government forces and militants in Benghazi.

A United Nations report released last year, meanwhile, warned of a "considerably deteriorated" security situation in Libya, with the unsecured arms of the former Qaddafi regime ("we came, we saw, he died," Clinton joked in 2011 even as the Obama administration insisted regime change wasn't a goal of the intervention) making their way across the region, from Nigeria to Syria, exacerbating conflicts in the region.

Today, in announcing a halt to the U.S. withdrawal in Afghanistan, with 5,500 troops slotted to remain through 2017, President Obama said that the "opportunity for a stable and committed ally" in Afghanistan was worth the extra effort.  "I do not support the idea of endless war, and I have repeatedly argued against marching into open-ended military conflicts that do not serve our core security interests," he told military personnel that may now return to Afghanistan, telling them he wasn't sending them into harm's way lightly.

Yet, as Libya illustrates, the decision about whether a war is open-ended, or even endless, isn't in the hands of Washington. The Libyan war has been painfully open-ended to Libyans themselves. The U.S. campaign in Yemen, similarly, has been more open-ended than U.S. war planners planned, with a proxy war breaking out in Yemen between Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, and Iran, after the U.S.-backed regime was overthrown.

And now President Obama has informed Congress he would send 300 troops to Cameroon, to conduct surveillance, intelligence, and reconnaissance missions against Boko Haram, a Nigerian Islamist militant group that has extended its reach in West Africa.  Boko Haram militants became more adept at being more violent after returning with new weapons and tactics from the battlefields of Mali, Mali being among the first countries to become destabilized in the wake of the U.S. intervention in Libya from which Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration are showing they've learned nothing.

Advertisement

NEXT: Rand Paul's Fumbling on Gay Discrimination Question Was Eminently Avoidable

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. When is the last time that training troops in some third-world shit hole has produced positive results?

    1. South Korea?

    2. Hitler?

      I was told the answer to these questions is always “Hitler”….

    3. South Kurdistan.

    4. I’m told that our GIs collective time in Viet Nam led to a LOT of “positive results”.. if you know what I mean.

    5. Probably Yemen.

      1. Good results from the Yemen intervention? Go on…

        1. Bombing AQAP may have kept them from taking over the country during the 2011 revolution. It worked.

          1. Yemen is so peaceful right now, eh?

            1. Doesn’t contra my initial point.

              1. Your initial point doesn’t answer The Shrubber’s original question, which had nothing to do with al Qaeda anything.

    6. Greek Civil War ’45-49.

  2. “I do not support the idea of endless war, and I have repeatedly argued against marching into open-ended military conflicts that do not serve our core security interests,”

    Which is exactly the reason you should watch this guy with the mute button engages; whatever he says can be totally ignored. Watch what he does.

    1. “I have repeatedly argued against marching into open-ended military conflicts that do not serve our core security interests…”

      “…but, of course, I’ve done the opposite. Exclusively. All the time. Cause – fuck you, that’s why.”

  3. Oh, good, the Obots have a new thing not to acknowledge. At least my outright socialist acquaintances, for all of their lunacy otherwise, are willing to call out Obamessiah and Hillarita on things like this.

    1. I missed your reply yesterday, but I’m curious to get your expert opinion on something:

      Is there any reason why patents and discoveries from publicly funded institutions (DARPA, NASA, Universities, etc…) don’t immediately go into the public domain?

      1. This is a very good question.

        “Patents from tax-funded, public entities, are what we crony capital together….”

        Am I warm?

      2. Same reason you have patent system in the first place? You want the publicly funded institutions to be able to recover their costs if they hit it big, and optimally make them (at least close to) self-sustaining.
        Remember, you asked for a reason, whether it actually works that way, when did government spending look into it?

      3. Is there any reason why those patents should not be owned by net taxpayers?

        1. “owned by net taxpayers”

          I’m ok with that, but that would make the Treasury Department the holder of all such patents.

    2. My friends who meet that description have gone full O-bot, which is distressing. But at least they hate Hillary, even if for some dumb reason involving Monsanto or something. I don’t get it. How is he not at least as bad as Bush when it comes to foreign adventures, murder-droning and executive overreach and opacity.

  4. Over/under for when the newly trained Cameroonian officers and troops revolt and take over the country?

  5. “we came, we saw, he died,”

    Not an inaccurate description of his fate, but I wasn’t aware Hillary directly participated, unless she was just talking about getting off to the video.

    1. Yeah, I know. I thought the whole point of Libya was that we didn’t actually, you know, go there.

    2. It is custom for royalty to speak of themselves as indivisible with the nation – “Government is the things WE do together.”

  6. So,the domino theory in action?

  7. Obligatory link

    Seriously, you have to hear her gleeful cackle when relating her involvement in the murder and sodomization of Gaddafi to get the full effect.

    This wretched woman aspires to become president, and she enjoys the support her party’s leadership and tens of millions of Americans.

    Contrast with the still-detestable GW Bush, who insisted upon a trail for Saddam, and commented on his botched execution: “It basically says to people, look, you conducted a trial and gave Saddam justice that he didn’t give to others. But then, when it came to execute him, it looked like it was kind of a revenge killing … It just goes to show that this is a government that has still got some maturation to do.”

  8. I blame Bush

  9. Boko Haram militants became more adept at being more violent after returning with new weapons and tactics from the battlefields of Mali, Mali being among the first countries to become destabilized in the wake of the U.S. intervention in Libya from which Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration are showing they’ve learned nothing.

    Is there anything Ed can’t shoehorn into US responsibility? Mali may have been worsened by the Libya situation, but Mali was in trouble long before that.

    Hey if we can link the intensification of violence in that region to Libya, can Boko Haram’s recent retreat be linked to Mali’s pacification by successful and highly prudent French intervention? Surely not letting AQIM run free in Northern Mali would limit the weapons and recruits available for Boko Haram.

    1. It’s almost like the parent who purposely burns the child after it touches a cold stove.

      But more seriously, these sorts of arguments are always fraught, if only because they involve a counterfactual.

      Africa was, and is profoundly unstable, to point at any single event or operation and blame that, and that alone requires a very high bar.

      (None of which is to say that bombing Libya was not a profoundly stupid thing, and one that deeply damaged our long term credibility.)

  10. Operation Cannot Possibly Fail a Second Time

  11. It’s worth noting that the same vicious asshole has run Cameroon since 1982. Real stellar ally of freedom we are here, training his soldiers.

    1. Hasn’t France invaded Cameroon a bunch of times over the last few decades, too?

      1. France is, unlike America, a true colonial power.

    2. That’s not a legitimate concern of US foreign policy. All that matters is preserving and defending the rights of Americans.

      1. …says a Canadian.

        1. Not that there’s anything wrong with being Canadian, you understand. Your floppy-headed people have invented many fine things, such as basketball and William Shatner.

          It’s just that your militant enthusiasm for American exceptionalism is hilarious.

  12. The corrupt old bag called the military campaign in Libya “a humanitarian intervention.” Other people called a stab in the back, or a Judas-type betrayal. Treacherously turning on Gaddafi at a time when our countries had entered a more equable relationship, a rapprochement of sorts, was a contemptible, despicable breech of trust. In other words, it was completely typical of our Mussolini for Morons, a conscienceless sociopath.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.