David Cameron’s ‘ill-conceived’ military intervention in Libya fuelled the migrant crisis and spurred the growth of ISIS, MPs warn today.
In a devastating verdict, the Commons foreign affairs committee savages the former prime minister’s judgment in rushing to war in 2011, saying the intervention was based on ‘erroneous assumptions’.
The cross-party committee accuses Mr Cameron of ignoring military chiefs and a lack of reliable intelligence to pursue an ‘opportunistic policy of regime change’ in Libya.
And it says he gave little thought to how Libya would fare following the removal of dictator Colonel Gaddafi, setting the scene for the country’s descent into chaos.
It claims the bungled military action in Libya paved the way for a major new terror training base for ISIS fanatics.
‘Various tribes, independent militias and ISIL took advantage of the absence of central government to seize control of portions of Libyan territory,’ the report states.
‘ISIL has used its presence in Libya to train terrorists.’
The committee says Mr Cameron’s Libyan adventure ‘was not informed by accurate intelligence’, with ministers underestimating the threat that the country could become an Islamist stronghold.
It concludes: ‘By the summer of 2011, the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change. That policy was not underpinned by a strategy to support and shape post-Gaddafi Libya.
‘The result was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of Islamic State in North Africa.