Source: RT.com http://on.rt.com/aev4jx
NATO may have ended its operations in Libya, but the Western presence is far from over, with big companies replacing the warplanes. The countries that bombed the oil-rich state are now getting lucrative contracts to rebuild it.
First, British bombs tore it apart. Now, British companies will get paid to put it back together. Libya is open for business, and UK firms are being encouraged to join the gold rush.
“Libya is a relatively wealthy country with oil reserves, and I expect there will be opportunities for British and, indeed, other companies to get involved in the reconstruction of Libya,” British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond has said. He is urging CEOs and sales directors to “pack their suitcases” and head to the North African country.
The UK’s bill for its part in the NATO intervention in Libya is estimated at just under US $500 million. But according to the UK Department of Trade and Investment, the value of contracts to rebuild Libya, in areas ranging from electricity and water supplies to healthcare and education, could amount to upwards of US $300 billion over the next 10 years. And the British government will make sure it takes a leading role in that, just as it did in the war.
And this is what is raising more questions about the UK’s motives in playing such a big role in the recent conflict. John Hilary, the executive director at the War on Want anti-poverty charity, says it has shades of post-war Iraq, when companies from countries involved in the Allied invasion were awarded all the best gigs.
“We bomb, we destroy, and then we get the contracts to rebuild afterwards,” he told RT. “For us [Britain], it’s always been about those commercial interests ever since BP and Shell went back into Libya after the sanctions were lifted 10 years or so ago. For us, it’s got this commercial edge to the entire thing.”
Journalist John Pilger says there was evidence of bartering before NATO even got involved.