U.S., Allies Considering Training Libyan Troops

Between 19,000 and 20,000 troops would initially receive training.

A US soldier mans a machine gun on a US Army helicopter as it heads to Kandahar military base while transporting troops in southern Afghanistan on July 29, 2011.
National Journal
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Jordain Carney
Dec. 16, 2013, 12:49 p.m.

The Liby­an gov­ern­ment has asked the United States to train between 5,000 and 8,000 troops in a push to boost the coun­try’s weakened gov­ern­ment and mil­it­ary.

“We are dis­cuss­ing it with the Liby­ans,” Chuck Prichard, a spokes­man for U.S. Africa Com­mand, told USA Today.

Italy, Bri­tain, and Tur­key are also con­sid­er­ing train­ing Liby­an forces out­side of the coun­try. In total, between 19,000 to 20,000 Liby­an troops would ini­tially re­ceive train­ing, said Fre­der­ic Wehrey, an ana­lyst at the Carne­gie En­dow­ment for In­ter­na­tion­al Peace.

A de­cision hasn’t been made on where, if the re­quest were to be ap­proved, the U.S. would en­gage in the train­ing, Prichard said.

Africa Com­mand noted that the train­ing would be used for a “gen­er­al pur­pose force” and would be paid for by the Liby­an gov­ern­ment.

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