Despite Horror in Libya, Experts Warn Against Military Action

Experts argue increased military intervention will only fuel the fire.

"The options going forward -- from a U.S. and NATO perspective -- are all bad," said Chris Chivvis, Associate Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center and a Senior Political Scientist at the Rand Corporation.

The U.N.-backed international intervention Sisi called for today doesn’t appear to have the support of Libya, nor its neighbors across the Mediterranean.

"This is the job of the Libyan armed forces currently, what we need now is support from other countries, including arms support,” Libyan military spokesperson Col. Ahmed Al-Mosmari told Ahram Online today, lobbying for an end to an arms embargo. Part of the internationally recognized government based out of Tobruk, Libya, Al-Mosmari stopped short of asking for foreign boots on the ground, but said all options were on the table as Libya plots its next move.

"We've been saying at every level that Libya is out of control for three years and we'll keep doing so,” Renzi told Mediaset.

But regardless of leadership, any kind of military action aimed at ISIS, Wehrey said, would likely add oil to the domestic fire already blazing –- not help extinguish it. For example, each side could use the threat to take advantage, expanding the target set to include political opponents.

Experts say the key is to establish a ceasefire and a unity government but the means to those ends remain murky as the battlefield lines continue to blur. Though cautious, Wehrey puts his money on the U.N.-brokered peace talks that kicked off in Geneva last month but success depends on keeping pragmatic players from all sides at the table.

“Ending the civil war must be first and foremost -- but the question is how do you solve the terrorism problem without stressing existing political fissures? You don’t want to empower the militias –- you don’t want to take sides because that could derail the democratic transition.”

He added, “the risk of failure [of an international military intervention] is very, very high."

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