Obama was reflecting on his time in office on Fox News when he dropped the bombshell. Though he expressed regret over failing to plan for Libya after Gaddafi, he said the intervention was “the right thing to do”.
President Barack Obama of the United States of America has said his “worst mistake” in his presidency was not planning for the aftermath of Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster.
Speaking to Fox News anchor, Chris Wallace who had asked what Obama’s worst mistake was, he said, “Probably failing to plan for the day after, what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya.”
This is not the first time Obama has opened up about his regrets regarding Libya. Speaking in an interview for the Atlantic, he said the U.S had planned to avoid a long-term military commitment in Libya as it was not at the core of U.S interests. He said his government had worked to get a UN mandate and built a coalition to prevent other countries from piggy-backing on U.S efforts. He regrettably then admitted that after all the meticulous efforts Libya was a mess. The magazine went as far as claiming that he calls it a “shit-show” in private.
Since the Libya intervention, the country has degenerated into the hub of anarchical politics. It is now ruled by rival militias trying to ascend to power yet the Islamic State is moving in. As it stands, Libya has two governments, one in Tripoli and the UN backed leadership domiciled in Tobruk. The leader of the UN backed unity government arrived earlier this month in Tripoli to begin garnering support for his government.
The country, (like most Middle East countries the West has moved into for military reasons) is a monumental failure. Who is to blame? Obama has an answer, “When I go back and I ask myself what went wrong, there is room for criticism, because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up.”
He essentially pinned a considerable amount of blame on British Prime Minister David Cameron and former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. He said Cameron stopped paying attention and got “distracted by a range of other things”. Obama accused Sarkozy of wanting to trumpet the flights he was taking in the air campaign and bragging. Sarkozy was out to prove a point and he forgot the bigger picture.