Leadership: Fighting Fire With Knowledge


July 25, 2013: As part of an ongoing effort to create modern, and loyal, security forces, Libya has made a deal with Britain to have 2,000 specially screened Libyan soldiers (many with some experience in Kaddafi’s ramshackle armed forces) sent to Britain for ten weeks of intense training. This includes not just how to perform better in combat but also how to organize and carry out patrols, sweeps, raids, intelligence collection, and so on.

While NATO countries have been sending instructors to Libya for over a year now, the facilities down there are still primitive and there is still an Islamic terrorist threat, especially to foreign military and police trainers. Britain already has the facilities, and with the operation taking place in Britain it’s easier to recruit retired military men (especially those speaking Arabic) if they can stay near their families rather than spending three months in Libya. While it’s expensive to fly 2,000 Libyans to Britain, the better facilities and larger staff of Arab speaking instructors makes it worthwhile. Britain insisted that Libya guarantee (in writing) that all 2,000 Libyans would return home. Libyans travelling to the West have been known to spontaneously ask for asylum. While this might not always be granted, the procedure is long and expensive for Western governments. This agreement is supposed to eliminate that problem but time will tell.

Meanwhile, NATO trainers continue to work in Libya on a variety of tasks. Some of these operations have been quite specialized. Last year a team of American special operations troops recruited Libyans to be part of a government counter-terrorism commando force. The Arab speaking Americans selected and trained several hundred suitable candidates. The government needed some way to deal with a possible coup attempt by Islamic radicals. These groups, which include some al Qaeda affiliates, were angry and mystified at not receiving a majority of the votes in recent elections. They blamed America and Israel and, as usual, accuse Libyans who oppose them of not being proper Moslems. This could get ugly and most Libyans knew it. But using a few dozen American instructors to select and train a few hundred paramilitary troops does not produce a security force sufficient to maintain order throughout the country. Libya needs more training and trainers and needs it fast.





Article Archive

Leadership: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close