The headline in the UK newspaper, The Independent, says it all: Libya civil war: Italy ready to train anti-Isis forces to protect its own borders. Europe is getting scared of ISIS, especially Italy, whose southern islands are only 185 miles from the coast of Libya, where ISIS recently beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians on the beach.
It doesn’t help that ISIS recently threatened to conquer Rome. With the historical record showing that ISIS typically lives up to its threats, I can understand why the Italians are worried. Couple the threat of being conquered with the reality of terrorists living amongst you and regularly killing those who they don’t agree with, and Europe has a real problem.
The continent has liberalized immigration rules and allowed hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants into the European Union over the last decade. This wave of newcomers is changing Europe itself. The worry is that the Muslims already in-country will link up with new waves of ISIS fighters and refugees from Africa.
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According to The Independent article,
“Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni told parliament that possible alliances between local militias and Isis militants, inspired by their counterparts in Syria and Iraq, risked destabilising neighbouring countries. There’s a clear risk of alliances between Daesh [Isis] and local groups,” he said, using a common Arabic name for Isis. “The situation must be monitored with the maximum attention.”
So Italy has decided to act. The Independent states, “Italy has said it is ready to help monitor a ceasefire and train local armed forces to try and halt Libya’s slide into chaos, as the United Nations Security Council met to discuss the crisis.”
However, with the financial crisis still raging in Europe and Greece on the verge of being kicked out of the Eurozone and pushed into the arms of Vladimir Putin, it seems the Europeans have too much on their plate at the moment. Without American leadership (which will not be forthcoming), it is doubtful that Europe will rise to the occasion to protect its own security.
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