US Building Libya Commando Unit

Washington poised for strike on embassy attackers
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 16, 2012 7:00 AM CDT
Libyan security forces stand guard as people turn in weapons in Benghazi, Libya, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ibrahim Alaguri)

(Newser) – Hoping to prevent a repeat of last month's attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, the Obama administration is ratcheting up efforts to help build a new Libyan commando force. Work was under way on the force before the attack, but the US is looking to speed the process. Congress last month approved the movement of $8 million from defense work in Pakistan to the Libyan project, the New York Times reports, which officials say will "counter and defeat terrorist and violent extremist organizations."

"The multimilitia fabric that’s providing security there needs to be brought into a more integrated national security system," notes a top Pentagon official. Meanwhile, US forces are preparing for a potential strike against those responsible for the Benghazi attack—though they'll have to find the al-Qaeda linked group first. Special ops are on standby and drones are poised over Africa, the AP reports. The administration, however, is facing a dilemma: While such an attack could offer political gain ahead of the US election, it could also bolster al-Qaeda's standing locally and damage relationships with nearby governments. (Read more Libya stories.)

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