Libyan Rebels The Next Taliban?

libanislmicfighter.JPGThe Libyan branch of Qaeda al Jihad is known as Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. As Libya reforms after its Arab spring hard line Islamic groups are sure to attempt to hijack the revolution.

Philly.com"There is no question that al Qaeda's Libyan franchise, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is a part of the opposition. It has always been Qaddafi's biggest enemy and its stronghold is Benghazi. What is unclear is how much of the opposition is al Qaeda/Libyan Islamic Fighting Group - 2 percent or 80 percent."

It appears the U.S. Middle East policy has a schizophrenic nature to it, filled with blatant contradictions. Why are we on the side of al-Qaeda in Libya but against them in Iraq and Afghanistan?

And what type of government will these leaders create in the newly “liberated” Libya?

Remember al-Qaada thrives on chaos. Their influence is strongest where central governments are weakest, have the least ability to police and enforce law of any kind.

Its this kind of power vacuum that al-Qaeda in the past has sought as safe havens and places to train and impose their will by brute force and terror. Places like Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq during the chaos following the fall of Saddam. Now Libya is a place of chaos and limited control. The perfect opportunity as al-Qaeda sees it.

A good number of boots on the ground belong to al-Qaeda and even if overall they are more moderate than the Afghan Taliban its doesn't take much to be more moderate than the Taliban.

This is the drawback with Obama's approach to Libya. We interfered with the process but only very weakly. It will be tough to muster the kind of influence and power in the country that can insure that Libya comes out of this at least somewhat better off than before.

Posted by: Howie at 09:54 AM

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