U.S., Italy to Train New Libyan Security Force

The General Purpose Force will be trained outside of Libya and drawn largely from existing militias

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The United States and Italy will train a new Libyan security force as part of an effort to stem ongoing instability in the North African country.

The Washington Post reports that the new security organization, known as the General Purpose Force, will begin by providing security for government installations, but the Obama administration hopes it will be the nucleus of a new national army. The U.S. and Italy will train 5,000 to 8,000 troops – largely drawn from existing militias – outside of the country, and much of the focus will be promoting allegiance to the new government.

Two years after Libya’s bloody rebellion that led to the ouster and death of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the country has seen bloodshed and chaos from myriad armed groups. In October, Libya’s prime minister Ali Zeidan was kidnapped in broad daylight by a militia and later released.

The new security force will be trained to “NATO standards,” the Post reports. Turkey is also conducting military training for Libyan forces and Gulf states have provided support for favored groups.

[Washington Post]