The Trump administration is currently working to develop a diplomatic and military policy that would the United States be more involved with Libya. According to the reports from two U.S official, the plans will be completed in a few week. The new policy will be committed to expanding the current U.S presence, and it aims at ensuring that there is an understanding between the different rivals who are based in the western and eastern parts of Libya. The approval of the policy will eventually lead to the re-opening of the United States embassy in the country, and the formation of a new intelligence sharing plans that will be headed by the U.S special forces. Libya will now become that latest nation where President Donald Trump will have established the US counterterrorism efforts.
Various diplomatic personnel will be visiting Libya more regularly after the approval of the new policy. The U.S ambassador has not been based in the country in the past few year due to its unstable state. The Trump administration is deliberating on the re-establishment of the United States’ existence in Benghazi. The US has not had its presence in the city since a 2012 attack that led to the death of the four American citizens. Reports from U.S officials also indicated the country plans to open a coordination base that will be used by US forces and Libyan authorities to enable intelligence sharing in counterterrorism activities. The U.S army will also be conducting joint training and advisory functions with the Libyan troops.
The United States is expected to send up to 50 special operation forces to Libya if the policy is approved. Troops will be exchanging counterintelligence information that will help in the counterterrorism efforts. According to U.S officials, the plan might take a couple of months to implement. The training and intelligence sharing strategies that are currently being used in Somali are regarded as an example of the policy.
In the past years, small groups of U.S intelligence and military personnel have been traveling to Libya to meet and exchange valuable information with the Libyan officials. The U.S is currently considering a more permanent existence in the country for the first time since 2014 when it closed its Tripoli-based embassy. In 2012, the Benghazi-based U.S compound was attacked by Libyan militia, and this led to the death Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three Americans. Officials believe that the goals of the new strategy will be difficult to accomplish.
Libya currently faces a challenge of forming a national government that will be accepted by Prime Minister al Sarraj who dominates the eastern region of the country and Kalifa Haftar who controls the western part. Sarraj and Haftar are leaders of the Government of National Accord, and the Libyan National Army respectively. The implementation of the new policy will require coordination and intelligence sharing with the military commander. Most of the information that will be shared will deal with counterterrorism, but the U.S is also committed to helping the Libya to deal with it migration crisis.