May 13, 2016

BREAKING: Clinton’s Failed Libya Intervention Draws U.S. Troops Back To The Middle East

Secretary Clinton’s record as head of the State Department has dogged her campaign. Chaos in the Middle East, Boko Haram devastation in Nigeria, and the unravelling of the “reset” with Russia are major pockmarks weighing down her credibility on foreign policy. Beyond all of these problems, Secretary Clinton’s crucial advocacy for the intervention in Libya and her dramatic failure to plan for the now-failed state has consistently resurfaced as a strong challenge to her claimed ability to lead.

Yesterday, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. sent troops to Libya, adding a new chapter to Secretary Clinton’s failed effort there. According to U.S. officials, U.S. Special Operations forces have set up two outposts outside the Libyan cities of Benghazi and Surt “… in advance of a possible offensive against the Islamic State.” The military first visited Libya in the Spring of 2015 and set up the outposts six months later, all the while developing “plans for potential action against the group” whose presence in Libya numbers in the thousands. According to The Washington Post’s Missy Ryan, the U.S. troop presence in Libya “is a sign of the acceleration toward another military campaign in Libya.”

The U.S. Special Operations force, coming on the heels of two U.S. airstrikes in Libya, will be tasked with cleaning up the void left by Secretary Clinton’s 2011 intervention. Even when President Obama was skeptical of intervention, Clinton reportedly pushed him “51-49” in favor of intervention in the country. Secretary Clinton’s aides even planned to push the narrative that she was the “public face” of the Libya effort.

Despite her claims otherwise, Secretary Clinton has been repeatedly criticized for failing to plan for Libya after the intervention. President Obama listed the failure in Libya as one of his greatest foreign policy regrets. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates explained “we were playing it by ear.”

The country has since become a failed state and a safe haven for terrorism. More alarmingly, Libya has become a refuge and fallback option for ISIS. There are as many as 6,500 ISIS fighters in Libya and the terror group “is deepening its reach across a wide area of Africa.”

Five years later, the lives of U.S. troops are being put on the line in an effort to clean up the mess Secretary Clinton left in Libya.