This is all we need: another American base located smack dab in the middle of yet another civil war we had a big hand in causing in the first place.
"Libya’s security chief called on the U.S. to set up a base in the North African country to counter Russia’s expanding influence in Africa," Bloomberg reports.
It appears a desperate effort on the part of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) to gain Washington's attention after Trump last year seemed to switch his preference to Gen. Khalifa Haftar.
The US president famously said last Spring that Haftar, who holds dual citizenship after living outside D.C. for two decades and is said to be close to the CIA, is "securing the oil".
Haftar is being politically supported by Moscow, and it should be noted has Russian mercenaries in the ranks of his Libyan National Army, or LNA.
That’s just what we need — another indefensible American military base in a dangerous, remote, unwinnable, conflict where no side can claim moral purity. https://t.co/9kVkIsXCrE— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) February 22, 2020
So naturally Tripoli is playing "Russian influence" in Libya card to lure the Trump administration back into the GNA camp.
The GNA's interior minister Fathi Bashagha told Bloomberg that “The Russians aren’t in Libya just for Haftar.”
The top Libyan security chief added of the Russia's assumed ambitions there, “They have a big strategy in Libya and Africa.”
And Bloomberg explains further:
The oil-rich nation across the Mediterranean from Europe has been one of the main stages for Russia’s push for influence over the past year. More than a thousand mercenaries deployed by a confidant of President Vladimir Putin have backed Haftar’s offensive to capture the capital from the internationally recognized government.
Bashagha warned that Russia’s backing of Haftar was part of a broader push for influence.
Pro-Haftar forces have been laying siege to the capital of Tripoli for months now, displacing tens of thousands of civilians, in what's fast shaping up to be a major North African proxy war, given the UAE, Egypt and Russia have taken Haftar's side, while Turkey and most major UN countries have stuck by Tripoli under Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.
Though AFRICOM has been expanding rapidly over the past decade across the African continent, it doesn't look as if the Trump administration is ready to commit any level of American troops to the Libyan War 2.0 any time soon.