StrategyPage reports on the situation in Sirte, Libya:
The coastal city of Sirte (500 kilometers east of Tripoli and 560 kilometers west of Benghazi) is now largely controlled by Islamic terrorist groups affiliated with ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant). Sirte had a population of 100,000 in 2011 and was former dictator Kaddafi’s birthplace. Before 2011 it was full of his well-cared for Kaddafi supporters. Sirte was heavily damaged, and looted, during the 2011 rebellion. Most of the population fled the fighting and when they returned they found a much less prosperous lifestyle. This caused some of the locals to arm themselves and misbehave. The continued anarchy in Sirte made it possible for many Islamic terrorist groups to establish themselves there. Until 2014 there was nothing to unify these groups but then ISIL came along and more and more Sirte based Islamic terrorist militias have pledged allegiance to ISIL. Further east Derna (200 kilometers east of Benghazi) came under the control of ISIL affiliate Islamic terrorists in late 2014. Derna is a little larger than Sirte and has long been a commercial center. ISIL also controls Sabratha, which is 66 kilometers west of Tripoli and about the same size as Sirte. Some Islamic terrorist groups still hang on to parts of Benghazi despite a year of fighting with pro-Tobruk government forces.
Another factor contributing to the growth of ISIL is the people smuggling, which has grown enormously, from practically nothing in 2011 to over thousand paying illegal migrants a day. This really began in 2013 when criminal gangs (often tribe or militia based) connected with Italian gangsters and organized the illegal movement of African and Middle Eastern illegal refugees to Europe via Libya. Kaddafi never tolerated this sort of thing.
Kaddafi was an irritant, but a manageable one. He was also sometimes helpful in dealing with the very terror groups which now control his hometown. Libya today, after Hillary Clinton’s war-of-choice there, is a permanent humanitarian crisis and a playground for terrorists.
If Iraq today is Obama’s legacy of abandomnent and neglect, then Libya is Clinton’s legacy of unserious hawkishness.