This paper reviews the Libyan political and security reality since the beginning of the military operation launched by the retired general khalifa haftar on the Libyan capital Tripoli on April, 4, 2019 until the date of writing, with a statement of the most important political and security developments and the suggested solutions for the reconciliation government.
However, we should give a brief of Libyan geographical importance, and the positive and negative consequences on the Libyan reality, as we will stop at the political behavior that ruled the international relations.
Libyan geopolitical importance
The Libyan geopolitical position give the country many features which as follows:
- It is connection circle between eastern and western Arab countries, Libya is the trade and cultural bridge that connecting them. This lead to an important fact: “who control Libya, will control this bridge”.
- Libyan position in the Mediterranean Sea in front of the European shore, converted it to a Europeans naval gate, and migration starting point for those the prosperity seekers. This mean that chaos in Libya means endlessness migrants waves to Europe, this fact gives advantage cart to press Europe.
- Geographically, its position is proper for the armies movements and easily connect its supporting lines with south of Europe or eastern Arab countries or western Arab countries, such a feature give Libya additional importance in the world war 2.
- Libya represent trade not between Europe, western Arab countries and Easter Arab countries.
Even with the activity of the airlines, land lines still keep high importance value.
Due to all those points, we can understand why the conflict in Libya is globally important, and why many countries support the Libyan rivals in order to gain benefits on the Libyan territory.
Political behavior that rules the international relations
The classic realistic policy, is the dominant factor that control the international relations in the present time, which relies on two points:
- international chaos, this theory assumes there is no authority over the authority of the state, therefore the States do not submit or recognize a law to be higher than its sovereignty, this simply will lead to the chaos, and the only guarantor in this chaos is the “power”, which explains the continued international competition for the development of military capabilities and deterrent systems.
- The exclusion of fixed values in international relations, so there is no obvious definition for the right and wrong in the international behavior. Due to this fact, Pragmatism has emerged as a behavior of most of the world, a behavior seeks its own interest even at this mean the destruction of the whole world.
Based in this points, the countries seeks its own interest when it deals with the Libyan case, and how it could achieve from those interests despite the suffer and suffocation of the Libyan people.
In addition, those countries doesn’t care about leaders and their values as it cares about how those leaders will achieve its interest in Libya. So when it comes to deal about their interest, the most rogue person could be the most important one, even if he will stand against the legitimacy.
we will review the military situation in the field after one month since the beginning of the military campaign launched by retired general Khalifa Haftar the capital Tripoli, and what it achieved on the ground. Then we will analyze the situation based on the previous approach.
Reality of the military campaign one Tripoli after one month, and its negative reflections on the ground:
On the 4th of April 2019, the retired general brigadier khalifa haftar launched his military campaign to conquer the capital Tripoli under the cover of fighting the terrorists. Haftar, received wide support from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, Which are working hard to suppress the revolutions of the Arab Spring in order to prevent it from spreading in the region or access to their territories. Support also comes from Egypt after the arrival of Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to power through a coup against the legitimate President Mohamed Morsi.
As far as western countries attitude is concerned, their “closed eyes” about Haftars’ campaign and limiting its reaction with only verbal condemnation, is considered as agreement for what the retired general doing in Libya.
At the best of times, it is a state of anticipation to know the victorious. Those countries do not care about the moral and political history of Libya rulers, only cares about the guarantee of their interests in the rich country.
Even with whole political and economic supports, this campaign failed to achieve its goals till now. However the reconciliation government succeed to protect the capital, which obviously create new situation on the ground:
The beginning of losing the trust in Haftar, specially united states and france, which gambeled on quick campaign make entire Libya under the control of hafar, which in return ease controlling its oil and reserve all the western interests there. However, , the failure of the military operation, long of time it took, fall of more victims, and the increase in the number of displaced, all left the Libyan scene more complicated, and put Haftars’ supporters under the pressure of stop their support to haftar or press to cease the military campaign.
As far as haftar’s Arab supporters is concerned, supporting the retired general consume them economically due to financing the campaign and direct intervene “Egyptian air force as well as UAE’s UAVs to support Haftar’s land forces”. In addition, their political project in Libya face real barriers, which warns splits among the alliances.
Suggested solutions for the reconciliation government to stop haftar’s plans:
As we mentioned, standing of reconciliation government forces caused deep splits among haftar’s alliances, with the time, the longer Tripoli stands. The more those splits goes deeper; which threaten the campaign against Tripoli and make it hard to continue, that’s why its better for the reconciliation government to work on two lines: internal and external line.
Dealing with the internal line: Tripoli government should fortify its political and military position by providing all what it needs to keep out the steadfastness of Tripoli against the invaders.
In addition, its better to launch counter-strikes against the conquerors, in this way, leadership of the campaign will think twice to continue attacking the capital rather than conquering seize new lands. In order to guarantee the success, its necessary to cut off the supplying routs of the attacking forces and support the tribes which stand by the side of the government forces.
As far as cutting off haftar’s forces routs is concerned, it should make it hard for the equipment’s to reach the forces in the western territories and destroy the bases that used by those forces.
On the interior political level, it is better for the government to increase its internal alliances, which is easy in a tribal society such as the Libyan community in this way, so even if those tribes didn’t declair their loyality to the Tripoli government, they will –at least- decrease their support for haftar’s forces.
However, the most important factor is establishing alliances based on the diversity of the Libyan society and military reality in the country, cause it well known that there is many tribes tries to stay neutral in this crises. In the same time, the main reason of haftar’s tribal supporters is the money he paid to them, that’s why, reconciliation governments should offer more money to change their loyalty in order to either fighting with the government, or at least stop fighting with haftr’s forces.
On the foreign level, as we mentioned before, western countries seek its interests despite who is ruling, that’s why its better to intensify its diplomatic efforts and assure their interests in which serve Libyan interests and guarantee people’s prosperity. In this way, western countries might stop supporting haftar’s project which lead to quick change in the power balance in Libya.
More than that, haftar’s media platforms exploit terrorism fighting propaganda by accusing reconciliation government to recruit terrorist groups to defend the capital, which create real fears for the western countries due to important Libyan geographic position near Europe; so its so important for this image to be faded out by launching counter campaign to assure the west.
As far as the haftar’s Arab supporters countries is concerned, their main support purpose is gaining big countries support for haftar. This support, however, reached its maximum level and it cannot provide more than it already provided; that’s why, standing against this support will push those countries to discover absurdity of their war and exhaustion of their economy without any practical benefit.at this point they will retreat and stop the battle (especially if they lose the support of Western countries that move diplomatically to secure their support for Hafter, which will also press on them to stop their war.