A September report by the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee thoroughly criticized Britain’s role in the 2011 Libya intervention which the country carried out alongside France.
The British government has, however, come out to defend its actions in the Libya intervention with an argument that its involvement in the intervention both saved civilian lives and weakened the hold of the Islamic State in the nation.
In the parliamentary committee’s report, it was pointed out that Britain’s strategy was based on “erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence,” and the government was accused of choosing to take the threats of dictator Muammar Gaddafi at face value.
The British government in its response said;
“Qadhafi (Gaddafi) was unpredictable and had the means and motivation to carry out his threats. His actions could not be ignored, and required decisive and collective international action.”
The Foreign Affairs Committee’s report on the actions of Britain in the Libya intervention also claimed that the government had expanded the initial mission of protecting civilians and had pushed for a regime change. The report lays blame plainly at the feet of then Britain prime minister, David Cameron, saying that he was “ultimately responsible for the failure to develop a coherent Libya strategy”.
Britain’s government on its end insists that they were in the right as it was “entirely appropriate” to target military sites after the Gaddafi regime failed to implement a ceasefire.
Former Prime Minister David Cameron declined to give evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee but the committee heard from key players including former Defence Minister Liam Fox and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The 2011 Libya intervention is five years gone now and the country has devolved into a sorry state after the death of its dictator leader Moammar Gaddafi. It is currently run by two rival administrations and is constantly overcome by violence. The presence of extremists such as Islamic State is also a huge issue.
The Committee report insists that the British government should have been aware that militant extremist groups would attempt to benefit from the rebellion.
Britain’s defensiveness is very different from the attitude of United States President Barack Obama who admitted earlier in the year that not preparing for the aftermath of America’s own Libya intervention was the worst mistake of his own Presidency.