Norwegian Politicians Regret 2011 Libya Bombing as Report Finds It ‘Ill-Advised’


In 2011, Norway, led by current NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg, agreed to drop 588 bombs on Libya as part of NATO’s operation to oust its leader Muammar Gaddafi, a decision a 260-page report found “ill-informed,” sparking belated reproach and regret among politicians.

A state commission has concluded that Norway’s Labor leadership and then-PM Jens Stoltenberg knew “too little” about the situation in Libya before they agreed to take part in NATO’s operation in the spring of 2011, which effectively plunged the relatively prosperous North African country into chaos.

Norway played an active role in NATO’s bombings of Libya, dropping a total of 588 bombs or one-tenth of the overall NATO effort, leaving many Libyan cities in ruins. Almost immediately, a debate about the righteousness and the necessity of this campaign blazed up. Former diplomat and humanitarian activist Jan Egeland demanded an investigation into the bombings as early as 2012, citing numerous victims among civilians, whom the UN-backed NATO raids were supposed to protect.

Former Foreign Minister Jan Peterson of the Conservative Party, who led the commission, stressed that its role wasn’t investigatory or evaluative. “The goal has been to learn what happened and to contribute to the public debate,” he explained to the daily newspaper Aftenposten. Consequently, no harsh criticism was directed against the then-Labor government, as Libya was an…

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