Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Russia's Libyan Public-Private Partnership Gets Some Aircover

That horrible mess delivered to the world by Obama's "Lead from Behind" dance with Canada, the European powers, and a few also-rans to kill Qaddafi continues to spew out problems.

Of course, there was no thought of follow-through when we decided to ... do whatever it was "we" did. It is almost comical that "they" were concerned with saving the people of Benghazi at the start of all this ... and just look at the wreckage that feckless action begat.

Throw in giving an opportunity for a Turkish-Russian proxy war to add temperature to their forces already at tension in Syria ... and what unnecessary risk thrown in the international system for so little.

No one has yet to be held to account, as it was the internationalists who created this mess, and goodness knows we can't let them look bad ... but we have what we have.

As things heat up, Russia looks to be more aggressively backing their play in Libya.

U.S. Africa Command assesses that Moscow recently deployed military fighter aircraft to Libya in order to support Russian state-sponsored private military contractors (PMCs) operating on the ground there.

Russian military aircraft are likely to provide close air support and offensive fires for the Wagner Group PMC that is supporting the Libyan National Army's (LNA) fight against the internationally recognized Government of National Accord. The Russian fighter aircraft arrived in Libya, from an airbase in Russia, after transiting Syria where it is assessed they were repainted to camouflage their Russian origin.

"Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favor in Libya. Just like I saw them doing in Syria, they are expanding their military footprint in Africa using government-supported mercenary groups like Wagner," said U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command.
MIG-29 and SU-24 are not their most capable platforms, but for that theater, you don't need to send your best, just your good enough. Being there is what matters.

As a nice side-bar to my snarky comment abouve, in Tyler's article over at The Drive, he gives a nice summary of the state of Russian MIG-29's to put it in context.

Another good primer on a topic at hand, Anna Borshchevskaya's DEC 19 profile of Russian PMC's over at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Am I concerned about this? Only in that it is another opportunity for a conflict over something worthless spinning in to a larger conflict. As for Russia or Turkey coming out on top? Libya has been in their sphere of influence in the past, so ... no net gain or loss for the USA. Not our war. I just hope responsible people can keep that mess contained.

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