Former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, now the secretary general of NATO, fended off criticism that NATO’s bombing of Libya in 2011 led to the country’s descent into chaos. Norway played a major role in the raids that ultimately led to demise of the Gadhafi regime in Libya.
“There are many reasons why Libya collapsed, but NATO did its job,” said Stoltenberg in a report from news bureau NTB this week. “NATO acted on a foundation of a very clear UN mandate to protect civilians. The military assignment was carried out. The problem was that the political stabilization afterwards wasn’t carried out.”
Libya today has no functioning government, and rival militia and extremist groups are fighting for control. The chaos in Libya is among the causes of the current refugee crisis in the Mediterranean.
Stoltenberg was committed to the Libyan bombing and Norway sent a fleet of its fighter jets to a base on Crete for the duration of the attacks in the spring of 2011. “The world community contributed towards stabilization after the military operation was over, through the UN and the EU, but the collective contribution from the Libya government and the world was clearly not enough.”