Will U.S. Troops Deploy to Libya? By Cindy Cross
Moammar Gadhafi has been found and killed by the Libyan rebels today, now what? Gadhafi ruled Libya for over three decades, with the exception of 2011, the last 30+ years have shown Libya to be one of the most stable and prosperous countries in that region of the world. Having one of the world’s largest oil and natural gas reserves, Gadhafi amassed enormous wealth estimated to be in the billions.
In February of this year, President Obama agreed to permit American troops to provide air support to the United Nations in assisting the rebels overthrow Gadhafi’s regime. Now with confirmation of Gadhafi’s death, who will now lead the rebels?
Under Gadhafi, Libyan insurance companies and banks became nationalized, with Libyan currency backed by gold reserves. Will this convert over to the private sector under the new Libyan government?
In 2009, a coalition of senators, including John McCain (Rep-AZ), Joe Lieberman (Dem-CT), Susan Collins (Rep-MN) and Lindsey Graham (Rep-SC), met with Gadhafi, his son, and Libya’s national security adviser to discuss the possible sale of U.S. defense equipment. John McCain tweeted about his meeting with Gaddafi, “Late evening with Col. Qadhafi at his “ranch” in Libya – interesting meeting with an interesting man.”
Earlier in 2009, the U.S. posted an ambassador in Tripoli, the capital of Libya, for the first time in 36 years.
In April of this year, John McCain recommended the U.S. position American ground troops in Libya to ensure the absolute removal of Gadhafi. McCain had criticized president Obama for sending only air support. In stark contrast to his harsh words towards Obama’s strategy, he offered, “an end to the first phase of the Libyan revolution. While some final fighting continues, the Libyan people have liberated their country,” he added.
In a veiled threat, McCain appeared on BBC’s Newsnight and pointed out that governments in Syria, Russia and China should be “nervous” about the message sent by the fall of Gaddafi and said, “It is the Spring, not just the Arab Spring.” Not a good thing to say to a country like China.
Will the U.S. stay out of Libya, as Obama has been careful about? Or, if the Republicans take over the White House next year, will we go into Libya and ‘nation build’? The nation building prospect should send Halliburton’s stock prices up.