[Map] The Mediterranean - Libya and the Franco-American Split
The Warring State of Libya: Franco-American Split
Title: Libya and the Franco-American Split
Author: Hubert Douglas - The Mediterranean
Date: 7th August 2026
A Brawl Between the Two Republics
During my lecture at the 7th Hall of Perspectives Conference in Seattle, I elaborated on the current challenges faced by the United States. In meticulous detail, I explained that not only that the country’s veneer as a military superpower has shattered, but it also caused many of our key allies to question our reliability as a security partner. And it would be a matter of time when the international scene becomes multipolar again, with China standing tall as the global hegemon.
Despite the obvious shift, few such as Republican Senator Horatio Jabarti objected to the premise. He argues that the “unprovoked” attack on their flagship merely reinforces China’s reputation as a global pariah, and it will unite the many democracies of the world to stand against their growing influence. His assessment, however, became faulty as Australia made some rather cynical retort in their 2022 Defense Papers, which states that our aggressive policy puts their country’s economy and even security at risk.
And who could blame them? Since 2020, we’ve faced blunder after blunder in the most humiliating way possible: We lost 200 soldiers during the Taliban ambush in Spin Boldak, pivoted Indonesia to China due to a pathetic grandstand for human rights concerning West Papua, convinced Erdogan to commit a detente with Assad, and faced another scandal in Libya concerning dead U.S operatives. I could name more, but I think I made my case over how impotent we’ve become since the sinking of the USS Reagan.
But then there’s Emmanuel Macron - the Little Napoleon of the 21st Century. While many of our allies make condolences for our loss in the South China Seas, he made a scathing retort over how the United States has become the “Sick Man of the World”, and rightfully so. But there’s more to him than just simple advocacy for European independence from Anglo-American influence as his rhetoric veers towards the sense of French Exceptionalism, boasting their unique role in history and the current political stage between China and the United States.
His policy against the United States has the consequence of provoking a schism within NATO, especially concerning Libya. Facing two of the worst crises Europe has ever faced since the spillover from Syria, many of its members bicker over how to approach the worsening situation. Exacerbated by the hijacking of a French naval prototype - the FSS Treville, and the suspicious appearance and death of U.S operatives in Ghat, both are adamant about solving the crises, yet their strategies differ vastly, especially which over which local body they should support: The Presidential Council exiles in Washington D.C or the remnants of Haftar’s Libyan National Army.
Little Napoleon and the Grand Marshal
Emmanuel Macron recognized Haftar’s House of Representatives as the legitimate government of Libya during his time at the 2020 World Economic Forum, citing the rampant factionalism and Islamic fundamentalism within the Government of National Accord as his rationale. Despite being condemned by many, especially by Germany and the United States, he received little but strong support from Turkey. Since then, they’ve enabled the Libyan National Army to swiftly take over Western Libya during Haftar’s Operation Unity offensive, providing them with diplomatic (and allegedly, military) support.
Initially, it was a worthy investment. It was enough for Macron and Erdogan to pat each other’s back over Haftar’s triumph, boasting their success with a massive grin during their diplomatic broadcast at Ankara. With both the GNA and PC in exile, a massive pool of foreign investment begin to funnel for the reconstruction of Libya: Turkey made investments to repair highways and the Great Manmade River, while France supported Haftar’s ambitious plans concerning mineral extraction and domestic arms manufacturing.
All seems rather well, especially when massive progress was made during the first few months of Haftar’s 4 Year Plan. But then he died, succumbed to years of struggling against withering age. As a result, the country once again plunges into crises and civil strife. To save face, both countries initially abandoned remnants of the Libyan National Army in favour of the Presidential Council. However, their efforts were futile as they show contempt and distrust towards them, forcing them to pivot back towards the LNA.
While France still considers Libya as a potential threat to their national security, they refuse to support any form of military invasion, citing the already worsening Neo-Barbary Crisis as an example of its potential consequences. Instead, they provide support to the remnants of the Libyan National Army, which rules over the hinterlands of Eastern Libya. And since many officials of the HoR (now residing in Paris) still recognize the LNA as a part of their government, they’re the only legitimate force that who are still present in the civil war.
Officially, they merely recognize them and reject any notion of assisting the LNA beyond diplomatic support. However, just like the rumours during Operation Unity, it wouldn’t be surprising if they provided them with intelligence and military assets. There are still hearsays of French operatives scattered across Eastern Libya, especially during their offensive against the Shura Council. Rumours of DGSE contingents within the country has also become a subject of contention, with the arms bust in Al-Jawf implies their involvement in organizing covert deals. Despite the strong cases from both local and journalistic testimonies, Macron denies any involvement in military intervention.
However, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is more outspoken in his support for the Libyan National Army, especially after the U.S (and their belligerents) blocked them from participating in any future ventures involving NATO. Since then, they have provided the LNA with military assets ranging from heavy weapons to light UAVs. The normalization with President Al-Sisi also enabled them to send out Syrian and Turkish volunteers, crossing through the borders along with their Russian counterparts. Like France, Turkey is concerned with the worsening crises affecting the Mediterranean Sea: Despite being virtually untouched by the Neo-Barbary Crisis, many Libyan refugee funnels to Turkey as they house over 75,000-100,000 people, which already put them under political pressure from domestic opposition.
However, out of all the countries that could’ve sided with France, it seems that Greece is willing to support its advocacy for soft intervention. Initially aligned with the United States’ initiative for a proactive military invasion and opposed Turkey’s frequent traffic across the Aegean Sea, they shifted their disposition when the Neo-Barbary Crisis took place. With its sprawling islands under the threat of squatting refugees and illicit piracy, they find common grounds with both Macron and Erdogan; enough to provoke them into a planned naval exercise with Turkey in 2028.
Despite the support from other countries such as Hungary and Albania, many aren’t keen to stand up with Macron’s approach to the crisis. While you have folks like Baerbock who’ll ramble about the necessities of a “humanitarian intervention”, most are unwilling to alienate the United States due to two reasons: the potential consequence they’ll face similar to Turkey’s and the Novorossiya takeover of Kharkiv. Most members neither have the political will nor the rationale to align with France, especially when the latter seems to have a growing reputation as the next black sheep within NATO.
Saving Libya in the American Way
In tradition to spread freedom and democracy across the entire globe, the United States Congress once again contemplates bombing another country on the farther side of the Atlantic Ocean, this time against Libya to restore the Presidential Council. While the congressional hearing of two Libyan activists won’t be summoned until December this year, the prospects are slowly attracting bipartisan support: President McCallum supports intervening in the civil war during the 2023 Presidential Debate, and Senator Horatio Jabarti lobbies for the authorization to commit military actions since 2020.
The strong ties between the United States and the Presidential Council trace back to 2016 when they decide to rival China’s deal with an unusually generous foreign aid programme concerning mineral exploration, resource extraction, and infrastructure development in Fezzan. It became the only few diplomatic triumphs managed by the United States as it strays the country from its rival’s hands, enabling a government friendly to their interest. According to the 2021 Capitol Leaks, contracts are expected to be given by Freeport-McMoRan and Davison-McLafferty’s and own 53.24% of its shares for deposit extracted.
However, all of their ambitions fell apart when Haftar waged an offensive again Western Libya. The United States refused to recognize the House of Representatives and retaliated by imposing sanctions against him until the previous government is restored. Despite their threats, the House of Representatives seems apathetic and sideline their bilateral ties in favour of other powers such as France and Turkey: both are willing to bear the consequence as they view his triumph as their own.
To this day, the United States has yet to recognize any warring parties within the civil war: They are either perceived as illegitimate pretenders (Libyan National Army & House of Representatives), extremist agitators (Green Army & Islamic State of Libya), or perpetrators of crimes against humanity (Free State of Sabha & State of Hun). Those who don’t consider the following three are either ignored due to the lack of proper communication or because they’re irrelevant in the stage of the civil war.
And in accordance with the Libyan Sanction Act (2020), they isolated the country from even essential sustenance and supplies, which inadvertently lead to a food crisis. However, despite the draconian embargo, their efforts slowly backfire as many looks towards the south for trade, especially with their African neighbours. These findings provoke the fear of a prolonged conflict and probable establishment of safe havens for terrorist organizations; with U.S Secretary Russell Gilligan during his 2022 interview stating that the worsening civil war will pose a grave domestic security crisis if left unabated.
Despite the strong sentiment for military action against Libya, both from foreign allies and bipartisan advocates, the question of when they’re going to launch the operation has yet to be answered. Many asserted that the invasion would occur before 2025, but that has proven false. However, with the upcoming congressional hearing, we should expect any course of action before 2030, assuming if President McCallum could garner enough support to let him win his second term.
We also have to realize that we lack the proper bases to even stage a military operation against Libya. While there are a few installations in countries such as Niger and Chad, they are merely small installations to conduct drone operations. And despite President McCallum’s efforts to convince Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt to allow official use of their territories, all of them refused to toy with such a proposition; citing the failed 2022 Algerian Intervention and the potential humanitarian spillover as their rationale to reject his plea for permission and the concession that follows.
Germany and Spain show their support for military intervention: both necessitate the need for humanitarian intervention to impede the worsening crisis and support the formation of an international coalition. Japan also has become an interesting player since the revision of Article 9: the JSDF provided support in the revival of the defunct Airbase 201 in Niger, usually under the pretense to deter China and uphold international security.
The Twilight of the West
If the sinking of the USS Reagan sliced a tear in NATO’s supposed cohesion, then the current crisis in Libya merely infest it into a blistering wound. It’s a phenomenon that has attracted grave concern from the so-called Atlanticists, especially when China and Russia are becoming more assertive in imposing their national interest. They are rather keen on the call for dialogue and mutual understanding to mitigate it, assuming that the split is merely an operational crisis, and therefore, can be mended.
However, this is a faulty assumption since France is not the only country to forsake common security for their agendas. Germany, despite their rhetoric against Russia during the 2016 Eastern Crisis, continues their venture for gas import and begins talks for a third pipeline as demand grows. This also extends to Russia’s normalization with their Baltic neighbours when President Aleksandr Lomachenko took office, enough for Lithuania to withdrew from the 54th Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise.
And despite the majority support for the U.S’ hard intervention, few seem to be actually willing into sending thousands to their deaths. Spanish Ministry of Defense advocates a similar strategy to those conceived by Macron, especially over the utilization of special forces to support local proxies instead of sending an entire battalion in Libya. This statement contradicts the official accounts made by their executive ministry, causing a minor fallout between the executive body and the Spanish Armed Forces.
We’re witnessing an incoming watershed in their history, and Libya seems to be their gravest challenge yet. It could either mend the organization, uniting its members under Washington’s umbrella, or it could be a massive blunder, proving that Macron is right to challenge the United States and advocacy for a new federal army. Only time will, and the congressional hearing in December will decide whether this is the case or not.