‘Nine years after the US helped bomb what was once the wealthiest African nation back to the Stone Age, the Tripoli-based government says it would welcome American troops on Libyan soil – to fight terrorism and ‘deter’ Russia.
In the wake of plans voiced by US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to scale back America’s military presence in the region and re-focus its forces globally towards confronting adversaries such as Russia and China, Fathi Bashagha, the interior minister for the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), told Bloomberg that Libya would be happy to help.
If the US asks for a base, as the Libyan government we wouldn’t mind – for fighting terrorism, organized crime and keeping foreign countries that intervene at a distance. An American base would lead to stability.
Bashagha claimed that the Russians “have a big strategy in Libya and Africa,” emphasizing Libya’s strategic significance if Washington really is worried about Moscow’s push for global influence.
The redeployment is not clear to us… But we hope that the redeployment includes Libya so it doesn’t leave space that Russia can exploit.’