The Government accepts many of the Committee's recommendations relating to post-Gaddafi Libya, but disagrees with recommendations relating to the basis for the intervention.
"The Committee accepts that, as the Government response suggests, UK policy in Libya was initially driven by a desire to protect civilians. However, we do not accept that it understood the implications of this, which included collapse of the state, failure of stabilisation and the facilitation of Islamist extremism in Libya.
The Government response does not work through the logic of the detail supplied in evidence by key figures including General Lord Richards, Lord Hague, Dr Liam Fox, Sir Alan Duncan and academics, who suggested that decisions were not based on accurate intelligence or a full understanding. This suggests the Government has yet to appreciate the lessons from our experience in Libya, including our lack of country knowledge amongst those drafting and deciding policy. This is troubling, because Libya should inform the development of future UK foreign policy.
The failure of the stabilisation, including an appreciation of the scale of the task, should have engendered a robust process of self-examination in Government to improve future performance. I believe we are about to repeat the failure to have adequate plans and resources for stabilisation in Mosul. Libya should have taught us these lessons.
Finally, Libya was the first test of the new National Security Council (NSC) mechanism. We welcome the fact that the Attorney-General has now been made a full member of the NSC and that the make-up and structure of the sub-committees has been adjusted to ensure appropriate oversight by all relevant Ministers and experts. However, a straightforward mechanism is still required for non-ministerial NSC members to request written Prime Ministerial directions to undertake actions agreed in the NSC, or at least to have their concerns minuted, rather than for these accounts to emerge in conversations with historians. We urge the Prime Minister to reconsider this."