Testifying to the Senate, Africa Command (AFRICOM) nominee Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser pushed heavily for increased US military involvement in Libya, saying he doesn’t see “any overall grand strategy” for US policy in Libya right now.
His comments were driven heavily by Republican hawks on the Armed Services Committee, but he was quite eager to agree that ISIS in Libya is an “imminent threat” and that it doesn’t make sense for the US not to be carrying out airstrikes there.
Pentagon officials sought to square the general’s comments with the administration’s current Syria policy, insisting that Libya is a “complicated situation” and that while the US is willing to strike ISIS in Libya the policy is “still taking shape.”
In practice, Waldhauser’s term could be the most significant yet for AFRICOM, as many in the administration have indicated a war in Libya is coming, and though the troops would likely to staging out of Europe, this could quickly spiral into combat in Africa, with some ground troops already in place.
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