Let’s hope it’s the end of Western imperialistic military invasions.
Did the mistakes made in Iraq and Libya kill Western governments’ appetite for intervention in subsequent conflicts?
This week’s report from the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee into the Western intervention in Libya made uncomfortable reading for Britain’s former Prime Minister David Cameron and his colleagues.
It provided a damning indictment of Britain’s part in the intervention that helped to overthrow the Libyan ruler Col Gaddafi and served to precipitate the country into chaos.
The report states that the intervention was undertaken without a full understanding of what was actually happening on the ground.
It says: “The [British] government failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated, and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element. By the summer of 2011, the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change.”
Another fundamental criticism is the absence of any real thought about the aftermath of the conflict.
The report notes that “policy was not underpinned by a strategy to support and shape post-Gaddafi Libya”.
The result, it says, “was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of Isil [so-called Islamic State] in north Africa.”