As Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, wields ever greater power over U.S. foreign and defense policy, with Defense Secretary James Mattis due to be the next victim of Bolton’s “house cleaning,” the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is preparing Libya for a neocon-led “nation-building” operation. Although Trump has slashed funding for USAID, the agency has found the necessary budget to begin to prepare Libya’s local municipal councils for elections.
To advance the U.S. agenda, USAID is looking to outsource election monitoring to two of its longtime Central Intelligence Agency-linked contractors, Chemonics and Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI). DAI is the firm that employed Barack Obama’s mother in USAID-funded projects in Indonesia. DAI and Chemonics have also been involved in “regime change” operations in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti, Macedonia, Moldova, Somalia, and other countries. Chemonics is involved in USAID projects in Moldova, Albania, Colombia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Mozambique, Uganda, Mali, and Georgia. Both firms are already in place in Libya, reporting to USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), also known as the office of “regime change and influence operations.”
The actual purpose of Trump’s and Bolton’s neocon designs on Libya is to eradicate from the local governance level any following for Muammar Qaddafi’s jamahiriyah-style of governance. The Libyan jamahiriyah stressed local council participation in all governmental decision-making and was viewed by political scientists as an Arab version of the system of direct democracy, or rule by the people, practiced in Switzerland and California through popular referendum initiatives.
Neocons, like Bolton and others who have been promoted into senior positions by Trump, view direct democracy as a threat to their brand of politics, which includes kleptocracies imbued with nepotism and corporate control of political decisions. The upcoming Libyan municipal elections are in preparation for the December 2018 presidential election, which, so far, pits Libyan National Army commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, a CIA-promoted dissident who defected from the Qaddafi government, against the candidate of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Libya, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the son of the late Libyan leader.
Haftar, who was on the CIA’s payroll while living in northern Virginia during Qaddafi’s rule, currently leads a rebel government based in Tobruk, in eastern Libya.
Libya remains plagued by a civil war between a Salafist-dominated government in Tripoli, backed by Qatar, and Haftar’s regime in Tobruk, which is backed by the CIA, Erik Prince’s Reflex Responses (R2) mercenary forces based in Abu Dhabi, and the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Libya currently has two rival heads of government: Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni based in Tobruk and Fayez Al-Sarraj, the head of the Presidential Council of the Libyan Government of National Accord, based in Tripoli.
Trump, who offered the front lawn of one of his New York estates for Qaddafi to pitch his tent during his 2009 visit to the United Nations, has, since becoming a full-blown neocon, authorized USAID and the CIA to ensure that remnant Qaddafi loyalty in Libya is eradicated permanently.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).