A Gadhafi-era general turned CIA asset with multiple failed coups d’etats under his belt, Gen. Khalifa Hafter is still around in northern Libya, securing oil-rich parts of the nation and fighting various regional Islamist groups.
While this has often appeared to be fighting for fighting’s sake, or an attempt to get endorsements from different would-be governments, Gen. Hafter is quickly finding himself in favor internationally, as the world looks to stabilize Libya, and sees the aging warlord as a potential solution.
Western countries are all quick to insist Hafter is “indispensable,” and even the White House said they see a role for him “in any future of Libya,” though they did stop short of endorsing him as an outright military ruler, something he’s long sought.
Western support is fairly cynical, of course. European oil companies with assets in Libya all officially support the UN-backed government publicly, but since Hafter physically controls almost all of their assets, they can’t be too public in opposing him.