The Libya Compromise


In the past 24 hours, scattered reports have come in that Russia has deployed a small group of special forces backed by drones to an airbase in Egypt near the Libyan border.

If so, this has been a long time in the brewing.

Since the end of the Libyan Civil War, a series of constitutional crises has seen the country splinter anew. They are too long and complex to recount here, but essentially, there is are now three main factions vying for control:

  • The UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by PM Mustafa al-Serraj, who governs Tripoli from a naval base, and includes a medley of liberals, Islamists, and ethnic militias who alternate between cooperation and hostily to each other. It is supported by the Libyan navy and the honestly named Petroleum Facilities Guard, which controls many of the oil transit ports around Ras Lanuf. It is the UN-recognized government, and enjoys US, EU, Turkish, and Qatari support.
  • The Council of Deputies (CoD), or House of Representatives, government based in Tobruk, which is dominated by General Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army, and enjoys support from Egypt, Algeria, Russia, and the US.
  • The Islamic State, which used to control Sirte, but has since been defeated and gone underground.

Since 2014, the GNA has been in a state of war with the CoD, despite recurrent attempts at intermediation. Islamic State, of course, hates everyone.

Due to Libya’s status as a funnel for African immigrants into Europe, as a significant oil producer, and as a hotbed for international jihadi terrorists, there are incentives on all sides to get it sorted out.

While the US joins the EU in officially backing the GNA, Haftar is a longtime CIA asset since he parted ways with Qaddafi in 1986, so it is warm towards him as well; especially now that the White House is occupied by Trump, who has long been skeptical of Obama/HRC’s misadventures in Libya. Russia also supports Haftar; he visited Moscow in November 2016, and video conferenced with Defense Minister Shoigu on the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov this January.

Haftar also enjoys the support of neighboring Egypt and Algeria.

In line with this, there have been rumors that Russia has already started supplying Haftar with huge quantities of arms via Algeria to circumvent the UN arms embargo on non-GNA factions in Libya.

Back in early February, the Russian-Israeli nationalist journalist Avigdor Eskin, writing for Russian news agency RIA, speculated that under Trump, the US could come to an agreement with Russia and cooperate on the rebuilding of Libya. Interesting enough, the groundwork for this was laid under Michael Flynn under the auspices of the group of experts known as Jellyfish Inc., many of whom were promoted to positions of influence in the Trump administration and, despite Flynn’s quick defenestration, presumably still remain there.

The proposed plan allegedly calls for the creation of settlements of 20,000-50,000 on the Libyan coast centered on the creation of oil refineries and accompanying infrastructure. The idea is that the immigrants would remain bottled up there, working in the oil refineries for decent wages and provisioned with nice, “European-style” amenities, instead of moving onto Europe. Some of Europe’s surplus refugees could even be dumped back there. Jellyfish Inc. would attract investors. Left unsaid, General Haftar would, presumably, be the guy who “enforces” this arrangement.

This is, for now, just rumor, it is highly suspect that the idea would even work – oil refineries are not exactly labor intensive, and as observers of Europe’s immigrant experiment, we know that the sorts of migrants coming up there will be all but useless in a modern factory environment.

That said, there are less fanciful ways the involved parties can benefit. In exchange for its support in restoring central authority under Hafat in Libya, Russia may reacquire the weapons supply deals it enjoyed under Qaddafi; once the new regime is secure and flush with oil cash, perhaps even the $3 billion contract from 2008 for Russian Railways to build a railroad along Libya’s Mediterranean coast could be revived.

The ruling regimes in both Egypt and Algeria would appreciate the squashing of Islamist elements in their neighboring country. The US could benefit by putting the whole Libya imbroglio behind it, and continue to exert whatever influence it may still possess accruing from Haftar’s long vacation near Langley.

qaddafi-millions-of-blacksThe EU, meanwhile – assuming it is not yet too consumed by internal crises – will have to negotiate its own deal on immigration. Ironically, most likely it will be very similar to the understanding Italy had with Qaddafi: Cash for keeping out the Africans.

In other words, the same old, same old – after almost a decade of pointless wars and pilfering. If not for the neocons, Qaddafi would have crushed the rebellion within a year.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. The rebellion was on it’s last legs in 2011 when the bombing started and if Ghaddafi had crushed it tzhe war in Syria would have been over by now and ISIS would not have existed in it’s present form.

  2. Absolutely.

  3. They want weapons, and the EU won’t give them at any price so why would a Libyan government do anything for the EU. They’ll make a deal but not do anything. Why would the Russians want to help Europe with the issue that is breaking up the Russia bette noir of the European Union, or the safety valve of Syrian (rebel) migration switched off? And if the Libyans crush Islamists with Russia support where are the Islamists families going to go but Europe (plus there are a lot and awful lot who will claim to be persecuted and thus refugees) Moreover Libya would be flooded with blacks without an outflow. Russia would be better staying out of Libya because they are going to be blamed for the inevitable failure to stop migrants leaving from the coast.

    There is no saying what Gaddafi would have none or what his replace will

  4. I sometimes wonder if Qadaffis warning to that if he went down then millions of blacks would enter is what made European politicians so eager to topple him. Their intense love of mass immigration does not make this such a crazy idea.

  5. Gabriel M says

    If not for the neocons, Qaddafi would have crushed the rebellion within a year.

    What does the term neocon mean in this sentence, since, in the conventional sense of the word, none of the governments involved in toppling Gaddafi had any significant component of neocons*?

    *Though neocons undoubtedly supported them.

  6. [conspiracy mode on]
    The crypo-colonial pseudo-Russian pseudo-state sends cannon fodder to clear up the mess after their European masters. Nothing unusual.
    [/conspiracy mode off]