To the Shores of Tripoli: Bad Vlad’s Navy

Since Libya began its campaign of world acceptance, Muammar Qadhafi has done pretty darn well. After accepting responsibility for the actions of his surrogate thugs, the Libyan leader agreed to pay reparations to families of assorted bombings including Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, a Berlin disco in 1986, and UTA Flight 772 in 1989. The U.S. reestablished relations in 2006, and Libya has become the new China, of sorts. The world has opened its hearts and wallets to this strategically placed mass in North Africa.

In its latest liaison with the deep-pocketed, Libya might become home to a Russian naval base, not that Russia has much to offer above or below the surface, but a presence — a base in North Africa trumps U.S. efforts on the continent.

Despite a visit by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, the U.S. has yet to make a significant foray into this strategically placed nation and struggles to establish its Stuttgart, Germany-based Africa Command much beyond the name.

Others have fared better. French President Nicholas “Hot Nick” Sarkozy secured a lucrative nuclear reactor building deal and other agreements for his country. Italy obtained the equivalent of most-favored-nation status (Now Libya is reported bailing out Italian banks.)

But all has not been rosey between the Libyans and Russians. It has been reported that in April Russia agreed to cancel billions in Libyan debt if it agreed to “major [arms] contracts with Russian companies.” Sure, sounded good, but Qadhafi and company did not follow through. Putin was peeved.

The Russian naval base might be a peace offering of sorts. No one wants Bad Vlad Mad. (The Ruskies have ricin.)

The Russians and Libyans also might have struck a nuclear weapons deal. Details should be published soon.

Maybe AFRICOM can catch the latest the news on the strategic moves of rival nations from its observation post in Stuggart.

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