Following President Trump’s Thursday comments, it’s worth noting that former President Obama called the African country of Libya a shit show just two years ago.The comments were recorded in an interview with The Atlantic. The wide ranging interview was based on Obama’s foreign policy over his eight years in office. During one portion of the interview Obama said described Libya as a mess to the interviewer but behind closed doors called the country a shit show.So we actually executed this plan as well as I could have expected We got a UN mandate we built a coalition it cost us $1 billion which when it comes to military operations is very cheap. We averted large scale civilian casualties we prevented what almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict. And despite all that Libya is a mess. Mess is the president’s diplomatic term privately he calls Libya a shit show in part because it’s subsequently become an isis haven one that he has already targeted with air strikes. It became a shit show, Obama believes for reasons that had less to do with American incompetence than with the passivity of America’s allies and with the obdurate power of tribalism.
The comments received little coverage when made public at the end of Obama’s term.Food for thought.Barack Obama blasted David Cameron for free riding over defence and has privately accused the British Prime Minister of leaving Libya a shit show it emerged today.In a remarkable insight into the US President’s critical view of Mr Cameron’s foreign policy it was revealed today that Mr Obama believed Britain and France were too happy to rely on the US to deal with conflicts on Europe’s doorstep.And he warned Mr Cameron last summer that the special relationship between Britain and America would be lost if he refused to commit the UK to spending the Nato target of 2 per cent of GDP on defence.In an in depth interview with The Atlantic magazine Mr Obama said he wanted Mr Cameron and the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy to take charge of the campaign to oust Libyan dictator Colonel Gadaffi in the spring of 2011 instead of relying on the US acting unilaterally.He wanted the two countries to break their habit of pushing us to act but then showing an unwillingness to put any skin in the game.He even went as far as describing the likes of Britain and France as free riders, adding later that he had told Mr Cameron that free riders aggravate me when he had told the PM You have to pay your fair share.In a damning assessment of Mr Cameron’s record in Libya Mr Obama said bluntly that the intervention didn’t work and had left the country as show.David Cameron blasts Boris for suggesting job losses are a David Cameron plans to STAY as an MP after the next election
In a wide danging interview it was revealedMr Obama warned Mr Cameron the special relationship would be destroyed if Britain did not meet the Nato target of spending at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence. He told the PM that free riders aggravate me as he told him to pay your fair share.Mr Obama cited Britain as a major factor in his decision no to enforce the red line on the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.The President said Mr Cameron became distracted after Britain’s initial intervention in Libya in the spring of 2011
The US policy of leaving Libya to the UK and France didn’t work
Mr Obama thought the situation in Libya broke down very quickly and the British and French left the country a shit show
Mr Obama said he had more faith in the Europeans but admitted it had been a mistake to trust Mr Cameron and Mr Sarkozy.
When I go back and I ask myself what went wrong there’s room for criticism because I had more faith in the Europeans given Libya’s proximity being invested in the follow up Mr Obama said He revealed his irritation as he said Mr Cameron became distracted by a range of other things in the aftermath of the Libya campaign, while the French president was ousted a year.Mr Cameron and Mr Obama, pictured together in the Oval Office have enjoyed a mostly close relationship over the past several years with a series of bilateral meetings 5 Mr Cameron and Mr Obama pictured together in the Oval Office have enjoyed a mostly close relationship over the past several years with a series of bilateral meetings Explaining why he wanted Europe to play the lead in Libya Mr Obama said Sometimes we’re going to get what we want precisely because we are sharing in the agenda.The irony is that it was precisely in order to prevent the Europeans and the Arab states from holding our coats while we did all the fighting that we by design insisted.
He added It was part of the anti free rider campaign.In the interview Mr Obama also cited Britain as a major factor in his decision not to enforce the red line on the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.The President called off at the last minute a planned attack in response to the gassing as he decided to refer the issue to a vote in Congress.Mr Obama said We had UN inspectors on the ground who were completing their work and we could not risk taking a shot while they were there.A second major factor was the failure of Cameron to obtain the consent of his parliament.The US President also revealed he addressed defence spending with the Prime Minister at last June’s G7 summit.Just weeks later Chancellor George Osborne delivered his summer Budget which included increased defence spending.Mr Cameron had been criticised by his own backbenchers over the threat Britain would fall behind the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence.But in a stark warning from the US President he said free riders aggravate me in the talks with Mr Cameron, and told him You have to pay your fair share Speaking shortly after Mr Osborne’s announcement, Mr Cameron said It’s about making sure we are safe in a very dangerous and unstable world.Because we’ve got a strong economy we can now make the commitment to spending more over and above inflation on defence, as much potentially as £6billion more between now and 2020 and that will make sure Britain is safer.Highlighting the threat from Islamic extremism on a visit to an RAF base he said And I’m absolutely determined that the RAF Army and Navy will have the equipment the means and the resources to deal with it.One of the things that we need is making sure that we have the drones spy planes and special forces the unique capabilities that make sure we can deal with this threat at its source.