Obama’s New Libya War: National Security or Oil?

On Tuesday Obama cited national security as the reason he has ordered bombing raids in Libya. The administration claims the Islamic State presents a threat to the United States, although the Pentagon, Gulf Emirates, and CIA created terror group has never attacked America. Mentally disturbed individuals killing club goers does not qualify as a bona fide Islamic State attack on the United States.

Obama said during his remarks the air strikes were undertaken to make sure that Libyan forces were able to finish the job of fighting the radical militant group and to increase stability there, according to Reuters.

The United States, Europe and countries around the world “have a great interest in seeing stability in Libya because the absence of stability has helped to fuel some of the challenges that we’ve seen in terms of the migration crisis in Europe and some of the humanitarian tragedies that we’ve seen in the open seas between Libya and Europe,” Obama told reporters.

According to Eurostat, however, most of the migrants entering Europe are from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other regions, not Libya.

Obama did not elaborate on how the migration crisis, encouraged by the European Union, endangers US national security.

On Monday, the Pentagon said the air strikes are required to support Libyan Government of National Accord troops (GNA) reportedly attempting to drive IS out of the city of Sirte located halfway between Tripoli and Benghazi.

Following the US and NATO attack in 2011 and the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi, an interim government was formed in the war-ravage country under the auspices of the United Nations. The GNA was organized under the terms of the Libyan Political Agreement signed on December 17, 2015, after years of clashes between predominantly Misratan and Zintani led militias.

Military support for the GNA is aimed not only at ejecting IS from Sirte, but also removing the remnants of the National Salvation Government in western Libya. Strikes will likely also be aimed at the Islamist-backed government in Tripoli and other Islamic militias. In April the National Salvation government said it would “cease duties” as executive authority.

The United Nations recognizes the GNA as the legitimate government of Libya and supports its effort to gain control over the National Oil Corporation. The oil company accounts for around 70% the country’s oil output. Both the United States and the UN imposed sanctions on the company during the rule of Gaddafi.