LIBYA: Pentagon sending elite anti-terrorism Marines

The U.S. is deploying elite Marine counterterrorism teams to Libya in response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The Pentagon is sending Fleet Anti-Terrorism Teams, known as FAST teams, a U.S. defense official has confirmed to the E-Ring. The official was unsure if the teams were actually ...

STR/AFP/GettyImages
STR/AFP/GettyImages
STR/AFP/GettyImages

The U.S. is deploying elite Marine counterterrorism teams to Libya in response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The Pentagon is sending Fleet Anti-Terrorism Teams, known as FAST teams, a U.S. defense official has confirmed to the E-Ring.

The official was unsure if the teams were actually en route to Libya yet.

The U.S. is deploying elite Marine counterterrorism teams to Libya in response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The Pentagon is sending Fleet Anti-Terrorism Teams, known as FAST teams, a U.S. defense official has confirmed to the E-Ring.

The official was unsure if the teams were actually en route to Libya yet.

"Make no mistake, justice will be done," President Obama said, in a statement in the Rose Garden early Wednesday. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is not expected to appear on camera today.

UPDATE: A U.S. defense official confirms to the E-Ring there are "about 50" people in the FAST teams deployed to Libya. Pentagon officials won’t say with specificity yet if the teams will protect just the U.S. embassy in Tripoli or additional sites, including the consulate in Benghazi.

"The goal is to shore up security around our installations," said a US defense official, and work to get the Libyans back in control of security.

Libyan officials, the US official said, are "being very cooperative" with the Pentagon and "doing all of the right things," but "obviously there was some breakdown" of security.

Still unknown is how long the teams could stay.  A senior military official told the E-Ring that FAST teams could stay "as long as needed — days, weeks, even months." Their deployment could be a precursor to additional troop deployments, the official said, but doesn’t have to be.

UPDATE: The U.S. Marine Corps’ FAST Team members are on the ground in Libya, at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, a senior administration official confirmed. They came from Naval Station Rota, in Spain.

Kevin Baron is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy, covering defense and military issues in Washington. He is also vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. Baron previously was a national security staff writer for National Journal, covering the "business of war." Prior to that, Baron worked in the resident daily Pentagon press corps as a reporter/photographer for Stars and Stripes. For three years with Stripes, Baron covered the building and traveled overseas extensively with the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, covering official visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, China, Japan and South Korea, in more than a dozen countries. From 2004 to 2009, Baron was the Boston Globe Washington bureau's investigative projects reporter, covering defense, international affairs, lobbying and other issues. Before that, he muckraked at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron has reported on assignment from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific. He was won two Polk Awards, among other honors. He has a B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond and M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University. Originally from Orlando, Fla., Baron has lived in the Washington area since 1998 and currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, three sons, and the family dog, The Edge. Twitter: @FPBaron

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.