While the United States has spent years supporting the UN-backed government in Libya, the White House released a statement today revealing that President Trump is in talks with Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan military general who has ties to both the CIA and multiple overthrows of his country’s government.
The statement said that Trump actually spoke with Haftar four days ago, and they discussed “ongoing counterterrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya.” Then it claims that Trump recognized Haftar’s “significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources.”
It then concludes by saying Trump and Haftar “discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system.”
The wording is incredibly notable here because it indicates that the U.S. is not happy with the current state of affairs in Libya, even though the U.S. is partially responsible for the current state because after working to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, they have helped to install and support the current government that Haftar is working to overthrow.
Looking at Haftar’s history, it looks like he has literally made a career out of overthrowing the Libyan government—again and again. He is originally from Libya, and he actually worked with Gaddafi to overthrow the country’s government in 1969.
But then Haftar and Gaddafi had a falling out, and he was rescued by the United States in 1990. He spent nearly two decades in the U.S. living near the CIA’s headquarters in Virginia, and he became a U.S. citizen.
Haftar then returned to Libya in 2011 where he was instrumental in the overthrow of Gaddafi. So we have seen him play a role in at least two successful government overthrows in Libya, and now it looks like he is pursuing a third.
The entire setup here is incredibly strange, but when looking at Haftar’s proximity to the CIA, it does raise questions about whether they have an underlying plan that hasn’t been made public,
Given the statement from the White House, the wording is notable, because the U.S. has been involved in directly influencing Libya’s government for at least 8 years now, so the fact that the statement claims the U.S. is supporting “Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system” raises questions about why the country does not already have that system when that was the promise when the U.S. was seeking to overthrow Gaddafi.