Some things we read about in the news simply defy logic. What has happened in Libya, from our intervention, through Benghazi, and currently, certainly fits that description. The U.S. Special Forces have been stationed in Libya to train their military. Naturally, they brought their own weapons. Unfortunately, some of those weapons have been stolen by groups that are likely in bed with terrorists.
Fox News – Highly sensitive U.S. military equipment stored in Libya was stolen over the summer by groups likely aligned and working with terrorist organizations, State Department sources told Fox News — in raids that contributed to the decision to pull Special Forces personnel from the country.
The stolen equipment had been used by U.S. Special Forces stationed in the country. Lost in the raids in late July and early August were dozens of M4 rifles, night-vision technology and lasers used as aiming devices that are mounted on guns and can only be seen with night-vision equipment.
“This stuff is how we win wars. The enemy doesn’t have that,” one source said.
The overnight raids happened at a military training camp run by American Special Forces on the outskirts of Tripoli, in the weeks before the team was pulled from the country in August.
If you read further into the story, you will discover that the trainers were not staying at the training camp. Instead, they were staying at a nearby villa, which was supposed to be a safehouse. For reasons I can not comprehend, the training camp, where the weapons were stored, was supposed to be secured and guarded by Libyan forces. That begs this simple question. Why would we send U.S. Special Forces into Libya to train their military and trust anyone but those same Special Forces to make sure our equipment was secure from falling into the hands of terrorists? Isn’t that like asking foreigners to make sure our diplomatic staff and embassies are safe from attack? Let’s just hire some yokels off the streets of Libya and tell them to not let anyone steal our stuff. As you can see, that hasn’t worked out so well for us.
If someone who has worked in situations like these reads this post, maybe you can enlighten me. Maybe there is so much protocol involved that it isn’t feasible to have our own people guarding our embassies, our diplomatic staff, and our weapons. If that is the case, if any country refuses to allow us the leeway to do just that, then we should vacate the country and leave them to their own designs. To do anything else is just stupid. I can’t help but wonder if too much of this game playing is what possibly cost the lives of the four Americans killed in Benghazi.
Speaking of Benghazi, it seems this story may be related. Some reports have surfaced that suggest the U.S. Special Forces who were in Libya to train their military may have had a side mission. The Fox News article says the trainers were also hunting down the terrorists responsible for the attack in Benghazi.
That U.S. team was funded by the Department of Defense Section 1208, which provides support to assist and stand up foreign counterterrorism forces in other countries. And in the case of Libya, the trainers were also tasked with hunting down the Benghazi attack suspects that killed four Americans one year ago. As Fox News previously reported, members of that team are leaving Libya.
“The loss of this military equipment is what pulled the plug on the U.S. operation,” one source with direct knowledge of the events told Fox News. “No one at the State Department wanted to deal with the situation if any more went wrong, so State pulled its support for the training program and then began to try and get the team moved out of the country.”
Forgive me for sounding so crass and jaded, but it appears the State Department was more interesting in covering their own backside than anything else. Just saying…
If there is one thing I have always despised, it is the idea that our government would send our men and women into combat and not give them every ounce of support they need to do their job and complete their mission. The stories I have read about Vietnam, as well as a first-hand account from someone who fought in that war, tells me that’s exactly what happened in that war. While the debacle in Libya may not be on that scale, but the same rules should apply. I was not in favor of intervening in Libya. That situation should have been left to play out on its own. Having said that, if we insist on getting ourselves involved, we should have made sure our forces had whatever they needed to complete the mission and stay as safe as possible.
Maybe I am being naive about this, but no matter what the situation, regular military, special forces, or covert operations, sending our people into battle with one hand tied behind their back doesn’t do them justice. If we are to fight, then let us fight to win. We should guard our own weapons and our people. If a country, terrorist group, or anyone else wants to dispute our right to do that, then let them suffer the consequences.