Are UK failures in Libya to blame for Mediterranean migrant crisis?
时间：2019-08-22 责任编辑：纵奈 来源：银河网投官网 点击：81 次
It is hard to argue with that the international community failed to plan adequately for the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011: the collapse of the Libyan state is a key reason for the current migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.
The Labour leader was not challenging the justification for the Nato-led intervention, authorised by the UN on humanitarian grounds and pushed by David Cameron and the then French president, Nicolas Sarkozy. Essentially Miliband is saying that more should have been done after Gaddafi’s fall.
British and other western diplomats involved in insist they tried to help but were often rebuffed by the rebel national transitional council and the governments that followed it. Capacity-building for the central bank and the prime minister’s office had little success. But most damaging was the failure to build a national army and police force to absorb and replace the plethora of revolutionary brigades in control on the ground.
Officials do admit to an overoptimistic reading of Libya as a small, wealthy and homogenous country and to underestimating how far its political culture had been hollowed out by 42 years of Gaddafi’s whacky but repressive dictatorship. Tribal and regional loyalties still counted hugely. “Yes, there was misjudgment on our side about how capable the new Libyan authorities were to maintain security and build a functioning state,” said one.
Yet the rebels were adamant that they wanted to manage their revolution without foreign troops on the ground – and the west was anxious to keep its intervention as light as possible, sticking to training, development assistance and election preparations. Each side’s reluctance reinforced the prospects for failure. And , leaving the Europeans to deal with the crisis in their own backyard.
“When the Brits, EU or the Americans put in advisers they found no one to engage with,” the official said. “There was no counterpart in the Libyan police or ministry of interior who could implement or act on advice. With the benefit of hindsight, we should have insisted the Libyans focus on security right at the start and not just rely on euphoria and goodwill straight after the revolution. The Libyans had a plan and were confident and we were supportive. After Iraq there was no appetite for running another country.”
Elaborate plans went nowhere. Stung by criticism that Nato had “walked away” from Libya, Cameron used the G8 summit at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, in 2013 to announce that the UK, US, Italy and Turkey were to train a 15,000-strong Libyan force. The UK role ended when Libyans being trained in Cambridgeshire were .
Last summer’s takeover of Tripoli by an Islamist led-coalition – presaging the chaotic collapse of the state and the emergence of rival but equally ineffective governments – “was between militias that hadn’t disbanded and the army that hadn’t been created”, said one senior diplomat. Others suggest the failure of the west – and Britain – was in not pushing the Libyans harder to accept and implement what they were being offered.
The balanced judgment then, is that the UK is partly to blame but that it is far from alone, and the Libyans failed dismally too.
“Cameron’s heart was in the right place but he didn’t want to be seen to be meddling because Tony Blair was always accused of George Bush-style meddling,” said Jason Pack, president of . “He was like Obama. He wanted to be seen as a humanitarian intervener and not a strategic intervener, or a forced nation builder. But he has taken a back seat even though Libya is a legacy issue.”