Small Wars Journal

US Removes Troops From Libya Amid Fighting in Capital

U.S. Removes Troops From Libya Amid Fighting in Capital by Jared Malsin – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. military said it pulled a small contingent of American forces from Libya as the country teetered on the brink of full-scale civil war, with fighting continuing around the capital Tripoli.


The evacuation is the latest turn in a troubled history of American military involvement in Libya, which has been in turmoil since the overthrow of Moammar Ghadafi in an armed uprising supported by North Atlantic Treaty Organization airstrikes in 2011. U.S. forces have also played a key role in uprooting Islamic State, which gained a foothold in Libya in the chaos that ensued after the Arab Spring.


Citing the ability of U.S. forces to “flex where required” in Libya, Col. Christopher Karns, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command, confirmed the departure from Tripoli. “Security conditions in pockets of the country have declined,” Mr. Karns said, declining to provide details on where the contingent is headed. “It is important various terror affiliated groups, such as ISIS, don’t have an exact map of our whereabouts,” he said, referring to Islamic State.


Sunday’s decision affects an unspecified number of American troops stationed in Libya to provide support to diplomatic missions and carry out counterterrorism and other activities, military officials said. Military officials said the declining security situation warranted their removal…

Read on.


Should we say that this such withdrawal is, indeed, consistent with President Trump's willingness to "share the world" (and it problems and benefits) with nations such as Russia?  And with his thought that it is better to let Russia, rather than the U.S., do this "stability" work.  This, given:  

a.  Russia's ambitions and success as to this "line of work" and

b.  Our lack of ambition, and failures, as relates to same?


Ultimately, the main return Russia seeks on its investment in Libya is neither a base nor a contract. It is the ability to substantiate one of the central narratives that it has told the world and its own citizens in recent years: that what the United States breaks, Russia can fix. Russian officials regularly tout Libya’s descent into chaos after NATO’s 2011 intervention, heavily criticized by then-Prime Minister Putin, as the perfect example of the instability that U.S.-led interventions cause. If Putin’s Libyan adventure pays off, Russia will have shown that it can shape lasting political outcomes abroad without costly ground invasions or destructive air campaigns. Such a psychological victory may be the most valuable reward of all.