Opinion

As Libya crumbles, Marines ready boots on the ground in Sicily --- The real Benghazi scandal

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Timothy P. Carney,Marine Corps,Benghazi,Libya

As Libya continues to crumble in the wake of the NATO-led regime change that deposed dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the U.S. this month has felt compelled to mobilize in anticipation of another intervention -- two and a half years later.

President Obama has sent our Marines nearly to the shores of Tripoli. Reuters reports that the Pentagon "has temporarily moved nearly 200 Marines to Sicily from their base in Spain as a precaution due to concerns about unrest in North Africa, bolstering the U.S. ability to respond to any crisis.

"The Pentagon declined to single out any countries but two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said American concerns were centered squarely on Libya ...."

This highlights the real Benghazi scandal that I wrote about in my latest column. Obama attempted a drive-by war — a quick in-and-out regime change, letting other people pick up the pieces after us. This works if your only goal is deposing a dictator. It doesn't work if your hope is promoting stability and peace.

Libya is in bad shape, and is a breeding ground for terrorists. "So Many Jihadists Are Flocking to Libya, It's Becoming 'Scumbag Woodstock'," read the headline on Eli Lake's well-reported account ten days ago. Reuters' reporting supports this idea:

"[A]rmed groups and Islamists refused to disarm after the 2011 ouster of Muammar Gaddafi. ...

"Three years after the NATO-backed overthrow of Gaddafi, Libya is gripped by political turmoil that has left the government struggling to assert its authority over armed groups and Islamists.

"Libya's oil infrastructure remains the target of protests and shutdowns, usually by brigades of former rebels who refuse to recognize the state's authority. Last month, gunmen stormed Libya's parliament.

"Earlier on Wednesday, Libyan soldiers in charge of securing the prime minister's office blocked cars from leaving the building in protest at not having been paid."

P.S. Sending your troops to Sicily has a bad history.

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