Reports about the poor reliability of Foxhound are not surprising. From 2006 to 2008, the MoD watered down the Technical Assurance rules and reduced the Reliability and Maintenance Group by over 100 system design engineers.
Authoring the UOR Coherence Study in 2007, I highlighted the need for good reliability to ensure high availability, prevent equipment failures and reduce the need for spares and maintainers. But there are no short cuts to reliability growth testing as we are now finding in Iraq.
In July, the LNA pushed Islamic State out Sabratha, but the power struggle in this important town continues. The latest fighting between 48 Brigade and the Anti-Daesh Operations Room is now a week old. Damage has spread from the town centre to Dahman district.
Sabratha controls the main route between Tripoli and Tunisia and sits next to the Zawiyah Oil Refinery. That is why the local elders from Zintan, Zawiyah and Sabratha have been joined by those from Zuwara, Khoms, Zliten and Misrata in calling for an immediate ceasefire.
Our examination of Sabratha and the western coastal towns in 2011 is covered in Chapter 6 of Belfast to Benghazi.
The recent move by Misrata to allow Tawerghans to return home has failed at the outset. Reconciliation appears a long way away after four families, who returned to the ethnically cleansed town for a temporary visit, were assaulted by local militia, while they prepared a celebration meal.
In 2012, MSF pulled out of the Misratan jails after claiming they were keeping prisoners alive so the guards could continue to torture them. See Chapter 6 of Belfast to Benghazi to read about the other nine strategic security risks in Libya after the death of Colonel Gadhafi.
The UK Media is concentrating on Aid to the Caribbean following Irma’s wrath, but US Secretary Tillerson’s reason for joining Boris Johnson in London is the Political Summit focused on achieving peace in Libya.
The new UN Special Representative for Libya, Ghassan Salamé, will discuss what can be done to maintain recent momentum with the delegations from France, the United Arab Emirates, Italy and Egypt. Qatar is the only member of the 2011 “Group of 4” not represented – a pointed omission.
See Chapter 6 of Belfast to Benghazi to read how they tried to influence Ministerial decisions in Tripoli and backed Abdul Hakim Bel-Haj.
The Desert Eagles, a Tebu Brigade operating 1,000 kilometres south of Tripoli in the Fezzan, has seized a convoy of 60 lorries crossing the Libyan southern border. This region is rife with smugglers of contraband and one of the key routes that human traffickers use to transport Sub-Saharan migrants to the Mediterranean.
Border security in the ungoverned and porous Sahel was one of the key concerns when I served in Libya. Millions of Euros have been spent trying to secure the southern border in the past 20 years without success. Is this the start of a more sustainable solution?
See pages 283-287 of Belfast to Benghazi for our visit to the Fezzan.