benghazi: boxes of rain

The road to 10,000 armed soldiers begins with a single step; a mere budgetary line charge and adjustment, a few supply planes and a small dedicated group of fighters who have to be nurtured through the embryonic stage to be of help in the arduous task of nation building.This Christopher Stevens story is getting more bizarre with each passing news item. Planned you say or just exceptional turnaround time from the D.C. bureaucracy? …

—The Libyan government is so wary of the U.S. investigation expanding into unilateral action that it refused requests to arm the drones now being flown over Libya. Libyan officials have complained publicly that they were unaware of how large the U.S. intelligence presence was in Benghazi until a couple of dozen U.S. officials showed up at the airport after the attack, waiting to be evacuated — roughly twice the number of U.S. staff the Libyans thought were there. A number of those waiting to be evacuated worked for U.S. intelligence, according to two American officials.
In Mali, U.S. officials have urged the government to allow special operations trainers to return, to work with Mali’s forces to push al-Qaida out of that country’s northern area. AQIM is among the groups that filled the power vacuum after a coup by rebellious Malian forces in March.
U.S. special operations forces trainers left Mali just days after the coup. While such trainers have not been invited to return, the U.S. has expanded its intelligence effort on Mali,….Read More:

Eight million bucks just doesn’t go to far today. Maybe there is a zero missing….If it looks like a pile of cow turd, and it smells like a pile of cow turd…. The fruits of the Hilary Clinton and Robert Gates pooling of resources to allow greater crisis flexibility….And what about Libyan sovereignty. Sound like father knows best, again back to Orientalism. Its common currency to demonize other nations by saying such and such a trait is intrinsic to their mother’s milk, but what of the whitest West? …..

(see link at end)…The Pentagon and State Department are speeding up efforts to help the Libyan government create a commando force to combat Islamic extremists like the ones who killed the American ambassador in Libya last month and to help counter the country’s fractious militias, according to internal government documents….

—The EU has been a positive force in European affairs, but working in the Brussels bureaucracy is a pretty comfortable gig compared to leading demonstrations against a dictator or trying to promote negotiations in some bitter civil conflict. Or what about giving the award to peace theorist Gene Sharp, whose insightful writings on non-violent resistance helped inspire and guide the Arab spring? This year’s award was thus a missed opportunity to shine a light on those individuals and groups whose example might inspire the rest of us. —Read More:

The Obama administration quietly won Congress’s approval last month to shift about $8 million from Pentagon operations and counterterrorism aid budgeted for Pakistan to begin building an elite Libyan force over the next year that could ultimately number about 500 troops. American Special Operations forces could conduct much of the training, as they have with counterterrorism forces in Pakistan and Yemen, American officials said.

The effort to establish the new unit was already under way before the assault that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans at the United States Mission in Benghazi, Libya. According to an unclassified internal State Department memo sent to Congress on Sept. 4, the plan’s goal is to enhance “Libya’s ability to combat and defend against threats from Al Qaeda and its affiliates.” A companion Pentagon document envisions that the Libyan commando force will “counter and defeat terrorist and violent extremist organizations.” Right now, Libya has no such capability, American officials said.

A final decision on the program has not been made, and many details, like the size, composition and mission of the force, are still to be determined. But American government officials say they have discussed the plan’s broad outlines with senior Libyan military and civilian officials as part of a broader package of American security assistance. …Mr. Wehrey cautioned that many Libyan officers and soldiers would also need training in English to help them understand various manuals….Read More:

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