US May Deploy Forces to Tunisia to Counter Russia in Libya

Trainers would be meant to assist the Libyan GNA

The US has struggled with whether to support the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), or General Khalifa Hafter’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA). Russia’s backing for the LNA seems like it is set to shift the US into the former’s camp.

Africom officials say that there is “heightened concern” over Russia supporting the LNA, and that the US is considering deploying trainers to neighboring Tunisia to support the GNA and address security concerns.

Africom chief Gen. Stephen Townsend accused Russia of “trying to tip the scales in its favor,” and that US strategy is to go the other way. It’s not clear that the US had any interest in backing the GNA in the first place, but seemingly it’s just about being contrary to Russia on the matter.

Tunisia’s Defense Ministry had been hoping to have the US send troops to work with them on building up their military, and the US seems to be looking to use that to get adjacent to Libya without actually going into the very dangerous Libyan coastal area.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of