Ex-UK Chief of Defense Says Obama’s Regime Change in Libya a Mistake


General Sir David Richards was the head of the British armed forces when the regime change campaign in Libya began. The UK was much more overt about the Libyan War being a regime change operation than the United States with Richards saying at one point,  “We are not targeting Gaddafi directly, but if it happened that he was in a command and control centre that was hit by Nato and he was killed, then that is within the rules.”

But now he is questioning whether the whole thing was even a good idea considering how it has empowered Al Qaeda.

Gen Sir David was chief of the defence staff from 2010 until July this year. But he now says the 2011 Nato-led campaign to remove Colonel Gaddafi in 2011 may have helped the proliferation of arms in Africa.

He said that campaign was a tactical success but that the jury was still out on whether it was strategically wise.

General Sir David Richards said Britain needed to learn from what it had done “and failed to do”.

He also questioned whether the Nato operation against Libya in 2011 was the right thing to do, suggesting it may have contributed to the spread of arms in the region.

“I do worry very much that sub-Saharan Africa is the next front – in many ways it already is,” Gen Sir David told the BBC.

“We must learn from what we have done and failed to do in other parts of the world in trying to combat this risk and do it pretty quickly or it could become pretty vicious – as if it wasn’t already bad enough.”

Bombing Libya had little to do with reducing risk since there wasn’t even a serious post-regime change plan except to let the militias take over.

  • Raymond_in_DC

    “He said that campaign was a tactical success but that the jury was still out on whether it was strategically wise.”

    I didn’t need a senior diplomatic or military position to realize, even at the time, that the Libya operation was a serious mistake. Qadaffi was a crazy bastard, but mostly tamed, and certainly no worse than most other Arab or African leaders we weren’t going after. The rebels’ lack of democratic credentials were obvious, and there was clearly no attempt to secure or destroy Qadaffi’s weapons arsenals. So it hardly surprises that such weaponry made its way to Mali, Algeria, Egypt, Gaza and Syria.

  • A Z

    As much as I want to blame Obama, he certainly had help and was goaded into it.

    Without Sarkozy & Silvio Berlusconi harping about the necessity of intervention in Libya, I doubt Obama would have had the U.S. join and lead the coalition.

    PM Cameron suggested a no fly zone.

    Britain , France & Italy could have taken out Gadaffi by themselves. Except without the U.S. it would have been slower and more painful. That is they wanted a result and they did not want to pay in lives and money.

    The U.S. became their chump.


    And I like those PMs better than their opposition, but on this they really scr/wed the pooch.

    • ZZ


      Obama wasn’t goaded into anything. He was more than happy to help oust another secular Near Eastern ruler so that terrorists could take over.

      • Guest

        It took like 2 or 3 months of Berlusconi & Sarkozy harping before Obama a committed.

        Maybe Obama was pretending to be coy, when he actually was not.

  • Obey..!!

    Obama tried as long as possible to resist his primal urges to grab some limelight.
    Ultimately, the temptation proved too much, he joined the others in the end zone,
    AFTER the game, of course.

    • motherofbeaver

      Love the photo. It’s so Urkel, almost as much as the picture of him playing golf today. As my father of blessed memory would have said, “this is the President of the United States??????????????????????????????????”

  • marvin boggs

    “once is accidental,twice is coincidence,three times is enemy action.”
    It’s all part of his efforts to weaken the US economically,politically,and militarily.
    1.He’s blocked domestic energy production,he’s hindered our economy terribly.
    2.He’s insulted our allies and aided our enemies,like the Muslim Brotherhood.
    3.He’s weakened our military,both through the weak economy and by shutting down needed programs such as missile defense,F-22 program,signing New START,and so on.

    Comrade Obama IS the muslim Manchurian Candidate.

    There’s a reason why post-college,Comrade Hussein traveled to Pakistan. it’s not because he was a Christian. There’s a reason why Comrade Hussein was aided in getting into college by Saudi money and influence.

  • http://www.abay.vn/Ve-quoc-te/ve-may-bay-di-tay-ban-nha Nhóm Đào Tạo

    Maybe Obama was pretending to be coy, when he actually was not.

    vé máy bay di London
    vé máy bay di Berlin

  • Abdullah The Sheik of Tikrit

    I would like to thank Brother Obama for his “mastermind plan” to reorganize the Arab lands and for supporting Islam.