By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 22 January 2016:
America’s top general has said “decisive action” is needed against the so-called Islamic State (IS) in . . .[restrict]Libya but stressed that outside military intervention had to relate to the political process – suggesting that Washington and its British, French, German and Italian allies were waiting for the new Government of National Accord to request their help.
General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff is reported by the New York Times to have said in Paris: “Unchecked, I am concerned about the spread of ISIL in Libya…You want to take decisive military action to check ISIL’s expansion and at the same time you want to do it in such a way that’s supportive of a long-term political process.”
Asked what that military action might be, Dunford said it should be “more than we’re seeing now. My perspective is we need to do more.” He later said that action was likely in weeks rather than hours.
He continued that the US military was looking at a range of factors, which included identifying the right Libyan forces to support. Dunford was not going out on a limb in his comments to a small group of journalists in the French capital. Defence Secretary Ashton B. Carter said elsewhere in Paris that this year Libya would continue to be a challenge and that it illustrated “ the new reality where small organisations wield underserved power”.
Equally in Washington, the Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command, General Joseph L. Votel, said that fighting IS could not be all about Iraq and Syria. There had to be concern about Libya as well.
It now appears that last Tuesday’s Rome meeting was about more than working out how to bring humanitarian assistance to Libya and supporting the GNA . No list of attendees nor final communique were published. Military as well as security options appear to have been on the table. [/restrict]