Obama’s worst mistake? Failing to plan Libya aftermath

CCTV News

Since the downfall of Kadhafi, who was killed in a popular uprising, Libya descended into near-anarchy, ruled by rival militias vying for power while the Islamic State group has gained influence in the country ©Mahmud Turkia (AFP/File) Since the downfall of Kadhafi, who was killed in a popular uprising, Libya descended into near-anarchy, ruled by rival militias vying for power while the Islamic State group has gained influence in the country ©Mahmud Turkia (AFP/File)

U.S. President Barack Obama said the biggest mistake of his presidency was a lack of planning for the aftermath of the fall of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with the country spiraling into chaos and grappling with violent extremists.

Asked in a Fox News interview aired Sunday to name the “worst mistake” of his presidency, the US leader said it was “probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya.”

Obama\'s worst mistake? Failing to plan Libya aftermath

Obama\'s worst mistake? Failing to plan Libya aftermath

U.S. President Barack Obama said the biggest mistake of his presidency was a lack of planning for the aftermath of the fall of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with the country spiraling into chaos and grappling with violent extremists. Asked in a Fox News interview aired Sunday to name the "worst mistake" of his presidency, the US leader said it was "probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya."


Peter Bechtold on Obama and Libya

To further discuss President Obama and the conflict in Libya, Asieh Namdar spoke with Peter Bechtold, former director of Near East and North Africa studies at the Foreign Service Institute and adjunct professor of Political Science.

Peter Bechtold on Obama and Libya

Peter Bechtold on Obama and Libya

To further discuss President Obama and the conflict in Libya, Asieh Namdar spoke with Peter Bechtold, former director of Near East and North Africa studies at the Foreign Service Institute and adjunct professor of Political Science.


Obama has repeatedly acknowledged that the United States and its allies could have done more to prevent Libya’s descent into chaos following the NATO-backed uprising that led to Gaddafi’s ouster and killing in 2011.

He expressed regret over the handling of the aftermath in a lengthy interview with The Atlantic magazine last month, calling the situation in Libya “a mess.”

Obama also sharply criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron and former French leader Nicolas Sarkozy for their roles in the Libya campaign, saying in particular that Cameron became “distracted.”

Since Gaddafi’s death, Libya has descended into near-anarchy, ruled by rival militias vying for power while the Islamic State group has gained influence in the country.

The head of a UN-backed unity government arrived earlier this month in Tripoli to begin garnering support for his administration.

Asked by Fox News to name the worst moment of his White House tenure, the president said it was the day he traveled to Newtown, Connecticut, after a gunman shot 20 young children and six adult staff members at an elementary school in December 2012.

His biggest accomplishment? “Saving the economy from a great depression.”

And his best day in the White House?

“The day that we passed health care reform,” Obama said.

“We sat out on the Truman Balcony with all the staff that had worked so hard on it and I knew what it would mean for the families that I’d met who didn’t have health care.”

When asked what he most looked forward to upon leaving office next year, Obama replied: “Being able to take a walk outside.”

Story by AFP.