Media finally noticing how Obama/NATO screw ups in Libya fed current fighting

Washington Post:
The hostage standoff at an Algerian gas field has thrown a fresh spotlight on the spillover unleashed by the 2011 war that toppled Moammar Gaddafi in Libya.

Experts say the vast quantities of weapons and fighters that streamed out of Gaddafi’s arsenals may have served as a catalyst for the region’s expanding crisis.

But the bold move on the gas complex near the Libyan border this week, coupled with the swift military successes of militants in Mali, have also raised questions about NATO’s handling of Libyan arsenals, as well as the country’s borders, during the eight-month revolution, in which the alliance assisted Libya’s rebel forces.

Some experts say that NATO forces and the U.S. government were so consumed by the threat of surface-to-air missiles in the wake of Gaddafi’s fall that they failed to halt the proliferation of the ordinary high-caliber weapons that may now be fueling Mali’s Islamist insurgency and could carry drastic implications for a region already reeling from lawlessness and a growing al-Qaeda threat. Some of those weapons have already reached Syria and the Gaza Strip.

While it is impossible to measure the exact role that Libya’s revolution and the ensuing security vacuum played in the recent unrest, analysts say that without the arrival of Libyan weapons and trained fighters, it would have been far more difficult for Mali’s extremist groups to seize control of the country’s vast desert north.

“The weapons proliferation that we saw coming out of the Libyan conflict was of a scale greater than any previous conflict — probably 10 times more weapons than we saw going on the loose in places like Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan,” said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at New York-based Human Rights Watch, who documented the disappearance of weapons from Gaddafi’s arsenals during the war.
It is something I have been saying for months.  The weapons have appeared as far away as Gaza and it is suspected that many are also being used in Syria.  In North Africa they have had a direct impact on Mali.  Some of those weapons were given directly by Qaddafi when he brought in members of the Tuareg tribe as mercenaries and they went home to join the rebellion taking their weapons with them.

But the question has to be asked why weren't the weapons depots secured.  The answer is that Obama did not posses the courage to order it.  He was committed to his "leading from behind strategy" and he was not going to deviate even when the consequences of failure unleashed forces far worse than Qaddafi.


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