Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook confirmed to reporters today that there is a “small” presence of US ground troops in Libya, trying to establish contact with various militias and other factions to “get a better sens4e of who the players are,” and “who might be worthy of US support.”
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford confirmed late last week that the US is planning to attack ISIS in Libya, and int3ends to announce a formal decision to that effect in the next few weeks, but the conspicuous lack of allies on the ground has raised doubts about how the US would try to copy the model of their Iraq and Syria wars onto Libya.
The US has launched some airstrikes against targets inside Libya, though Gen. Dunford insisted he wants the US to do “more,” amounting all told to “decisive military action” against ISIS, who has a presence on Libya’s central coast.
Despite Cook’s suggestion that the US is vetting groups to find someone “worthy,” in all likelihood the bigger challenge is going to be to find somebody half-way credible that might be willing to work with the US. In Libya, most factions are very local, and the few with nationwide ambitions don’t have a great track record of getting things done.