There may be a real reason for this, but, if the Islamists are getting frisky in Somalia, that’s because Brandon is weak, and the disastrous Afghanistan pullout gave them ideas, along with the response to Ukraine
President Biden has approved a Pentagon request to deploy hundreds of Special Operations forces to Somalia, reversing former President Donald Trump’s 2020 decision to withdraw all 700 ground troops stationed there, The New York Times reported Monday.
Before Trump left office in January 2021, he’d ordered most American troops to exit the East African nation, with the Pentagon explaining at the time that the troops would be “repositioned … into neighboring countries in order to allow cross-border operations by both U.S. and partner forces to maintain pressure against violent extremist organizations operating in Somalia.” Since then, American commanders have voiced their concerns, saying that the short-term training missions are no longer working as effectively.
In addition to Biden’s plan to redeploy troops, the president also accepted the Pentagon’s request to target leaders of the Somali terrorist group Al Shabab, hoping to suppress the group’s overall threat. “Al Shabab remains Al Qaeda’s largest, wealthiest, and most deadly affiliate, responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents, including Americans,” U.S Army General Stephen Townsend said during a visit to Somalia in February.
Interestingly, quite a few articles all make mention of Biden reversing Trump’s pullout. Is this a tactical decision, or simply because Brandon wants to do the opposite of Trump?
President JOE BIDEN’s war in Somalia has begun, and he didn’t even launch it.
On Tuesday, U.S. Africa Command chief Gen. STEPHEN TOWNSEND authorized a single drone strike against al-Shabaab militants attacking an American-trained elite Somali force known as the Danab. While no U.S. troops accompanied the Somalis during the operation near Galkayo, Pentagon spokesperson CINDI KING told NatSec Daily that Townsend has the authority under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter “to conduct collective self-defense of partner forces.”
“There was an imminent threat,” King said, so Townsend ordered the hit with the Somali government’s approval — but without consulting with the White House.
Sen. TIM KAINE (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees, expressed his reservations about the justification to NatSec Daily.
“I remain concerned with the justification of ‘collective self-defense’ to respond with U.S. military force to protect foreign groups when there is no direct threat to the U.S., its armed forces, or citizens,” the senator said. “I look forward to getting more information from the administration about this specific drone strike, especially as we continue to work together to rebalance the Article I and Article II powers on use of force issues and update the 2001 AUMF to reflect current threats against the United States.”
Top Democratic lawmakers took aim this week at the Biden administration’s recent airstrikes in Somalia, disputing the legal rationale for the operations and arguing that it undercuts the president’s stated desire to replace outdated war authorizations.
The Pentagon justified the strikes, which targeted al Qaeda affiliates in the war-torn country, by invoking the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the terrorist groups that attacked the U.S. on 9/11. (snip)
“If you’re taking strikes in Somalia, come to Congress and get an authorization for it. If you want to be involved in hostilities in Somalia for the next five years, come and explain why that’s necessary and come and get an explicit authorization,” added Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), another top Foreign Relations Committee member. “This idea that that’s too much trouble, that that’s too much to ask, is a very dangerous precedent for Congress to set.”
Both pieces were from July 21st, 2001. Will Democrats back Biden’s move to put troops back into Somalia? And will Biden’s plan work as well as Obama’s did? I’m all for wacking jihadis, if it has implications to U.S. national security.
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