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“Nobody wants another Iraq” – Llwyd warns against mission creep in Libya

22/03/2022

Plaid Cymru’s defence and foreign affairs spokesperson Elfyn Llwyd MP has today said that any military action in Libya must learn from the lessons of Iraq.

Mr Llwyd urged the UK Government to ensure that diplomacy and humanitarian aid were put at the heart of planning for the situation in Libya, and called for assurances over the potential for ‘mission creep’.

Mr Llwyd said: “This is a different situation from Iraq because of the UN resolution, but that’s not to say that the situation isn’t fast developing and we have serious concerns about how it’s being carried out.

“The UK Government has been right to work through the United Nations. Military operations over the weekend have certainly stopped the slaughter in Benghazi.

“I am extremely concerned about the humanitarian effects of prolonged military action and the possible loss of civilian life.

“We need to ensure that this is not seen as shorthand for regime change. There are many fundamental questions to be answered.

“For example, who will lead - the US or the Arab states? It is crucial that we have the full involvement of the Arab league or otherwise we risk being portrayed as ‘western aggression’.

“I want certainties too that there will be no troops on the ground and that diplomacy takes over.

“What is the exit strategy and when would the UK Government consider it ‘job done’? My concern is that this will lead to mission creep.

“There are lessons to be learnt from Iraq and that is a key one. What about after the fighting? If the UN resolution is to be upheld then we must not let down those we are trying to defend.

“Diplomacy and humanitarian aid must be put in place as soon as possible – nobody wants another Iraq.”

 

To read a full transcript of Elfyn Llwyd's speech to the House of Commons, click here