Libya May be the Next Somalia

Either dictator Qaddafi will be victorious, or Libya will split into “Somalia-like” segments, U.S. expert says. Obama administration disagrees.

Maayana Miskin , | updated: 12:06 PM

Libyan uprising
Libyan uprising
Israel news photo: YouTube screenshot

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi is likely to defeat rebel troops pushing for his ouster, United States Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate on Thursday. Qaddafi's superior military technology will ultimately bring him victory, he said.

If Qaddafi does not win, Libya is likely to split into two or three parts, he said, creating “a Somalia-like situation.” Senators were concerned by the possibility, which they said would be a disaster for America.

Somalia has had little central government control for two decades, and is one of the poorest countries on earth. The region remains torn by violence.

The Obama administration publicly disagreed with Clapper, telling reporters that his assessment was  “static” and “unidimentional” and had not taken U.S. or European diplomatic efforts into consideration.

“We've isolated Qaddafi and denied him resources. We're ensuring accountability, building international support and building capabilities to assist the Libyan people,” said National Security Advisor Thomas Donilan.

However, Defense Intelligence Agency head, General Ronald Burgess, agreed with Clapper. “We have now reached a state of equilibrium where... the initiative, if you will, may be on the regime side,” he said.

The U.S. has announced plans to send civilian humanitarian aid groups into parts of Libya now held by rebel troops. Senators hope to help Egypt and Tunisia as well

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Thursday that America would suspend its relationship with the Libyan embassy in Washington, DC. France went further, becoming the first country to recognize Libyan rebels as the legitimate ruling power.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed surprise at the French decision and was quoted as saying, “This is not a recognition in international law.”



top