With ISIS being hit by both the US and Russia in Syria, there is one place that everyone’s forgotten- Libya, and the informative video below by South Front examines the reasons why it is in fact a less stable region than even Syria or Iraq.
The video explains that ISIS is being pushed out of Syria, thanks to the now unified coalition against it, and that Libya’s lack of a functioning government provides fertile ground for growth. Indeed, we’ve noted before that ISIS has even set up a police force in Libya.
5,000 ISIS militants operate in Libya, a number that is expected to grow according to the video. Though weakened, ISIS would still possess a base of operations that would allow them to continue recruitment, and is strategically located act against nearby Europe, North and Central Africa and the Middle East. Interestingly, Qaddafi had himself correctly warned Europe that his fall would provide a gateway for terrorists to strike from Libya.
Libya’s rich oil fields would provide the terror group with much-needed revenue, and its strategic location would allow it to take a cut from or even control oil trafficking from elsewhere.
The proximity of other terror groups in the region, the narcotics trade and the already prevalent human trafficking in Libya might give IS access to yet more funds and men.
Niger, Chad and Nigeria were identified as particularly vulnerable areas, due to the presence of their own militant groups causing their own strife.
Algeria and Tunisia are also problem areas, due to the lack of sufficient education and low quality of living.
Mali, Mauritania and Sudan are also vulnerable due to the impoverished citizenry and the popularity of radical Islam in the nations.
The destabilization of Libya by NATO, and the current failure of Western nations to re-stabilize the nation, has caused it to become a hub for illegal migration to Europe- refugees, economic migrants and terrorists can find a path through the Mediterranean migration route. This migration, humanitarian or otherwise, already has caused greater social unrest in the European nations and a clamor for military interventions that target the symptoms rather than the cause (lest we forget who had originally destabilized Libya, Iraq and Syria).
Further military intervention, as advocated by the usual US-funded think-tanks like Stratfor, would prove to be counter-productive- Libyans remember who caused their current predicament too clearly to sit idly by when NATO starts bombing them again, and ISIS would only be too happy to take advantage of the conflict by supplying their new recruits with arms.
There is a solution though, according to South Front, that won’t escalate the conflict in the already-susceptible region: the setting up of an international administration that operates with the mandate of the UN (rather than US-backed government) and the deployment of an international peacekeeping force( rather than a US-led NATO strike) that has no agenda beyond promoting stability and ensuring that a government that is truly for the Libyan people comes to power.