Libya Training Delayed

The planned EU training of the Libyan Coast Guard announced in May and due to start before October has been delayed. In January 2012, we realised the scale of the problem and offered a host of training courses to the Libyan Armed Forces.  I interviewed dozens of officers before selecting the students for the first UK course.  Jordan and Turkey also helped.  It is disappointing that this appears to be another sound initiative which has collapsed.  See page 279 of Belfast to Benghazi:



Whitehall Briefing

I was delighted to be asked to speak at the Royal United Services Institute in Whitehall about conflict resolution lessons drawn from my book, Belfast to Benghazi. The eclectic audience included MoD, Home Office and officials from European and Arab nations – questions lasted 45 minutes.  The event was partially filmed by Al Jazeera.


Sky News on Libya

I was asked by Sky News to balance the inconsistent criticisms in the Foreign Affairs Committee report on Libya.  Reading the evidence submitted by highly regarded experts, I would not have drawn the same revisionist conclusions about the time before the democratic elections in July 2012.  From my privileged perspective, the inside account is told in Belfast to Benghazi.



Commemorating 9/11

On the 15th anniversary of the largest loss of British lives to an act of terrorism, we remember those who died, lost friends and relatives, or were affected by the attack.  Chapter 4 of Belfast to Benghazi describes for the first time the inside story of the UK military response, Operation Veritas, including the successful British deployments to Afghanistan in 2002.  I am grateful to Hatchards in Piccadilly, London for displaying my book in their Post WWII bookshelf.



US Institute of Peace paints grim picture of Prisons in Libya

The US Institute of Peace has published a report examining the prison system, with permission of the Libyan Ministry of Justice.  The report confirms what I found in 2012, that prison directors are trying to improve the well-being of staff and inmates, but they struggle with scant resources, dilapidated facilities and multiple security threats.  For discussion of detention centres in Belfast to Benghazi, see pages 258 (Zintan), 262 (Bel Haj in Abu Salim), 272 (Kufra), 277 (MSF in Misrata) and 281 (British journalists in Tripoli).

3 Zintan Elders