US Plans to Train Libyan Soldiers in Bulgaria

Defense | November 19, 2013, Tuesday // 14:56|  views

Admiral William McRaven, who heads the US military’s Special Operations Command. Photo by

US authorities have revealed that they plan to train up to 8 000 Libyan soldiers at a base in Bulgaria.

According to international media, those include special operation forces capable of carrying out counter-terrorism missions, in an effort to bolster security in Libya.

The training has been requested by Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and will be conducted by the US military’s Africa Command as part of a larger US and international effort to help Libya’s flailing government maintain security following the NATO-backed 2011 ouster of longtime strongman Mumar Gaddafi.

Speaking at a defense forum on Saturday, Admiral William McRaven, who heads the US military’s Special Operations Command, estimated the maximum number of troops at 7,000. McRaven said a counter-terrorism component would be one aspect of the training.

“Suffice to say that there is going to be a kind of conventional effort, to train their conventional forces, between 5,000 and 7,000 conventional forces. And we have a complementary effort on the special operations side to train a certain number of their forces to do counter-terrorism,” he said, according to Reuters and RT.

"There is probably some risk that some of the people we will be training with do not have the most clean records. But at the end of the day it is the best solution we can find to train them to deal with their own problems,” McRaven added.

Bulgaria’s Defense Minister Angel Naydenov said in September that the US plans to train Libyan forces in Bulgaria for up to eight years.

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Tags: Libyan, Libya, Bulgaria, military base, soldiers, security forces, United States


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