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Italian Operation in Libya Could Repeat 'Mistakes of 2011'

© AFP 2023 / PHILIPPE DESMAZESThis file photo taken on October 24, 2011 shows Libyans driving through a destroyed neighbourhood in Sirte
This file photo taken on October 24, 2011 shows Libyans driving through a destroyed neighbourhood in Sirte - Sputnik International
As Italy is increasingly approaching the prospect of a military operation in Libya, any US-style solution could repeat the NATO-backed toppling of the country's leader Muammar Gaddhafi, which threw the country into chaos in the first place.

While the United States has pressured Italy to take part in a military operation to restore a semblance of order in Libya, the country's defense minister Roberta Pinotti said that she does not consider such an operation "inevitable".

While Italy has a pacifist constitution that rejects aggressive war, its NATO allies have suggested that it should increase ground operations in the Middle East and North Africa. According to military analyst Pietro Batacchi, chief editor of the military magazine Rivista Italiana Difesa, a ground operation should not be completed without a political settlement.

"The situation in Libya is just reason for Italy to say 'no' to its alies and fully support a political solution, exactly so that past mistakes such as the 2011 military operations are avoided," Batacchi told Sputnik Italia.

Libyan security forces stands guard in Benghazi, Libya (File) - Sputnik International
Libya's Unity Government: A Fig Leaf for Another NATO Intervention?
He added that Italy's constitutional rejection of war, part of its WWII legacy, will lead the country's government to not use the word 'war' in fear of breaking a political taboo. Italy has, however, taken part in Iraq's operation against Daesh.

"For now, Italy is training troops in Irbil in Iraq, while in Baghdad there are the carabinieri, who train the Iraqi police and special forces to become units of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service. Also, there is our air force in Kuwait, with two Predator strike UAVs, one KC-767A tanker plane, and 4 Tornado IDS bombers," Batacchi told Sputnik Italia.

Batacchi also said that in Libya, a ground operation could only be requested by the country's government and not NATO, as was the case for Italy in 2011. However, as long as the political situation in Libya remains unclear, an Italian intervention appears off the table.

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