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If a country decides to intervene, it is expected that it has the “exit strategy” in their mind. Some scholars argue that preparing to exit a conflict is a distraction from what’s really important — the planning and execution of the initiating conflict itself. A successful intervention, then, is judged based on achieving initial objectives, not about actually concluding said intervention or even maintaining those objectives years later. Critics argue that so much is unknown about what later conditions will be that developing an exit strategy before a conflict begins is unrealistic. However, every phase of a military intervention is too early to develop a “realistic” strategy. This is the nature of the strategic process. The impossibility of strategy does not negate its necessity. Without strategy guiding our action in war / conflict, it is nothing more than violence for its own sake.

 

Developing an exit strategy is not a distraction. To not consider plausible exit strategies is to ignore that the nature of war is unequivocally interconnected. All stages of conflict and diplomacy should be considered at all times, because each will inform the others. They are definitely not distractions.

 

What we have learned from US invade Afghanistan is that endless conflicts are enables by the fact that right conditions for withdrawal are never apparent. This seems the same case for Turkey and likely to be a fact to Egypt in coming days.

 

Egypt and UAE demand Turkey and GNA to accept the LNA offer which would enable Hafter to control the revenue of oil and the finance of GNA at their hands. Naturally, Turkey and GNA would not accept such offer. As long as there is no reasonable offer, Turkey and GNA would launch offensive on Sirte and Jufra in coming days. Capturing those cities would give strategic control of export terminal in the coastal towns between Sirte and Benghazi.

 

As long as Turkey is in Libya, Egypt would naturally be concerned with the growing Islamist component in Libya which views as major threat to its security in long term. Therefore, it is not an option for Egypt to launch a limited offense into Libya but imperative once Sirte is severally threated by offensive operation of Turkey and GNA. Egypt like Turkey will be willing to deploy uncharacteristic military force to protect the borders. The tribes on Libyan – Egypt border will b used to justify such an limited intervention.

 

If that would happen, it would raise the risk of confrontation with Turkish forces. If that happens, it would pull Cairo deeper into Libya since Turkey will be forced to retaliate such action. Naturally, Egypt will retaliate if Turkish forces clashes with Egyptian forces. Therefore, Egypt’s move will be limited since Egypt will avoid any direct conflict.

 

Above all, the maritime border agreement between Egypt and Greece will eventually rise the tension in the area in coming period. This agreement would close the border between GNA and Turkey. Thus, pushes Turkish navy to traverse Egyptian claimed waters to continue its support operations, increasing the risj for direct confrontation.

 

What surprises Geopolitic Compass is that there is no exit strategy for any parties involved in this conflict. Greece seems to attract Egypt to confront Turkey. For that purpose, Egypt is adviced that any Turkish influence in Libya would ultimately threat Egypt security. In fact that might be true from Egyptian perspective since Turks and Egyptians are natural rivalries in the region for years, the political leaders seems to have no exit strategy in their plan. Turkey cannot accept any maritime border between Greece – Egypt cutting its connectivity with GNA. However, fragile economy cannot support high tension economic development which support AKP leadership in administration for years. Egypt cannot accept Turkish influence increasing in Libya especially on its western borders. Egypt has Sinai problem as well as Grand Renaissance Dam project in Ethiopia. Moreover, increasing population and weakening economy creates great pressure on Egypt development in coming decades.

 

Turkey and Egypt might confront each other in Libya for years to come.Without an Exit Strategy, the Right Conditions for Withdrawal Are Never Apparent