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Earnest: Obama’s mistake in Libya guided actions against IS

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The White House spokesperson, Josh Earnest, said on Monday, that the US President, Barack Obama, has learned lessons from his “worst mistake” of failing to prepare for the aftermath of ousting Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi in Libya, adding that the mistake has led to smarter military decisions in Syria and in war against the Islamic State group (IS).

Earnest said that after the airstrikes against Gadhafi’s regime in 2011, there were no civil institutions to fill in the void, because the Libyan strongman had ruled for 42 years. He said that the US and “the rest of the international community did not have time and did not succeed in following through with a plan to compensate for the vacuum that was left behind.”

Obama said that intervening in Libya was “the right thing to do.” He previously criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron for being “distracted” after the military action and failing to pay close attention to Libya’s deterioration.

“The president has tried to apply this lesson in considering the use of military and other circumstances — asking the question about, what situation will prevail and what sort of commitments from the international community will be required after that military intervention has been ordered by the commander in chief”, Earnest said.

“The president has understood that, at least in this case, it was important for him to order military action in order to protect the American people and in order to protect our interests around the world,” Earnest added.

Obama told “Fox News Sunday” that the worst mistake of his presidency was failing to plan for a post-Gadhafi Libya after the US and other countries carried out strikes to protect civilians during the uprising of 2011.