Although Trump has already bombed Syria and is posturing aggressively on Iran and North Korea, recent comments indicate that he will be taking a less militarist stance on Libya. He announced at a press conference that he sees no further role for the United States regarding the African nation.
“I do not see a (US) role in Libya,” Trump said during a joint press conference yesterday with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. “I think the United States has right now enough roles,” Trump said.
This came immediately after Gentiloni said that the United States’ role in Libya is “critical.” Trump snapped back to make it clear that the tragic circumstances in Libya are no longer the concern of his administration or the American people.
President Obama’s intervention into Libya, backed by the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), turned the country into a haven for radical Islam after disposing secular dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Recent reports of slave markets being prevalent in the area have horrified the world, prompting renewed calls for humanitarian intervention from the West.
On the Libyan question, Trump appears to be consistent with the “America First” message that won him the Presidency. When it comes to other nations, however, that hasn’t always been the case. U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have talked tough on Iran and North Korea while Trump has bombed Syria while simultaneously pledging to stay out of the country. These developments have given Trump’s non-interventionist supporters plenty of cause for alarm.
Still, Trump’s Libyan remark indicates that restraint may be a part of his military doctrine. This would be a step in the right direction from the Bush and Obama presidencies where there were a seemingly endless amount of foreign entanglements throughout the world.