The US President is of the view that Libya is in state of mess at the moment and the 2011 intervention left UK Primed Minister David Cameron distracted.
Barrack Obama was speaking to Atlantic magazine in which he admitted that the situation in Libya is pretty much a mess at the moment. However, he added that the operation was what they all had hoped for and it went according to plan but the situation after the intervention did not turn out to be quite good.
The article also quoted Mr. Obama warning David Cameron that UK would have to spend 2% of GDP on defence. Downing Street has so far not issued a statement on this particular issue raised up by Barrack Obama largely due to the reason that Chancellor George Osborne said the government would fulfil a NATO pledge to spend 2% of national income on defence last year.
US National Security spokesperson reflecting on President Obama’s interview to Atlantic magazine said that David Cameron has remained a close partner of the US and Washington deeply value the contribution of UK.
“Mr Cameron had been as close a partner as the president has had. We deeply value the UK’s contributions on our shared national security and foreign policy objectives”.
However, not everyone thinks that all is well here. BBC North America editor Jon Sopel is adamant that Downing Street has reacted angrily to the statement issued by the White House.
“It’s like we’ve seen a curtain drawn back on the unspun thoughts of President Obama, complete with frustration as well, and what we’ve seen tonight is the White House trying to close the curtain as quickly as it can,” Sopel added.
Libya intervention was carried out back in 2011 and was led by the United Kingdom and France. In his interview, Obama said that he expected more from his European friends in that. He criticised former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who went for glory instead.
“There’s room for criticism, because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up. Mr Cameron became distracted by a range of other things while former French President Nicolas Sarkozy had tried to claim the spotlight. He wanted to trumpet the flights he was taking in the air campaign, despite the fact that we had wiped out all the air defences and essentially set up the entire infrastructure for the intervention.”
President Obama also criticised countries whom he called free riders. According to him, a few European countries and Gulf countries were calling for intervention in Libya but when the intervention took place, they were nowhere to seen and that is what added to the misery of Libya. Operation was successful according to Obama but the lack of efforts afterwards is the reason Libya is in such a mess right now.
“what has been a habit over the last several decades in these circumstances is people pushing us to act but then showing an unwillingness to put any skin in the game.”