Britain must do more to protect the hundreds of thousands of British expats in the Arabian Peninsula, insists international security expert, Shashank Joshi.
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, recently admitted the crisis in Libya was the biggest mistake of his seven-year term in the White House so far.
However, while ISIS' presence in Libya poses a significant threat to the West, Britain has to prioritise its Gulf allies in order to protect its people from further terrorist threats.
That's the view of Joshi, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Instituted (RUSI).
"There are no easy options here," he said. "We just have to be more vigilant in other places, not just Libya, but Pakistan and probably the Arabian Peninsula, our Gulf allies, where there are hundreds of thousands of British expatriates who are under threat.
“It’s a major threat to our interests. ISIS is under extreme pressure in the core of its territory. They are more inclinced to conduct attacks in the West to show their brand is alive and well. Secondly, they’re redirecting new recruits into Libya. You’re getting a cluster of new reruits with new skills, but we are not ignoring this situation. Whitehall is talking about this a lot.”
Joshi also told Julia Hartley-Brewer that, although the threat of attack is rife, Britain has learned from the past in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes going forward.
He added: "If it looks like ISIS are getting close to seizing oil fields, we would take more robust action than we did in Iraq and Syria. It’s easier to stop ISIS getting somewhere than to expel them once they’re there. That’s a lesson we’ve picked up in the last few years."
He also insisted that a number of countries simply haven't done enough to quell the threat of ISIS, stating: "These countries have not done enough to address the threat to themselves. Egypt is number one on that list, Tunisia is at least trying, it is doing politically well and accepting help from Britain.”