Modern Libyan History: Western Involvement

28 Mar

It's this big! I swear!

The BBC published an excellent article that retraces foreign influence in Libya since 1911. Nothing is ever as black and white as it seems.

Here are some highlights:

  • Italy’s Mussolini-led Fascist regime invaded Libya in 1911 to destabilize the Ottoman Empire’s hold on the territory. This led to over 2 decades of rebellion against the Italians. Over 100,000 Libyans were sent to concentration camps as a result. Thousands were killed.
  • After WWII, there was a plan in place that would have allowed Britain, France, and Italy (yes, the same country that oppressed Libya for decades). The U.S. intervened to prevent this from happening. Instead, the US used it’s influence to form an Air Force base outside of Tripoli. The based was deemed to be strategically necessary to combat the Soviet influence
  • From 1950 to 1969, Libya was ruled by a King though still considered a British Protectorate. UK and US controlled Libya’s defense and foreign policies
  • Col. Qadaffi seized power in 1969. The Brits wanted to send in 007 to take out Qaddafi. Even though he nationalized oil production, the United States was okay with him in power because they felt he would be a reliable leader to counter Soviet influence.
  • The US abandoned its Libyan based in 1970
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