May 18, 2022
This is further evidence that the desire to end the so-called forever wars is good in theory, but reality kind of smacks you in the face.Bill Roggio, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and editor of the foundation’s Long War Journal, on the U.S. once again deploying troops to Somalia in order to counter terrorist group al-Shabab.
- Why It Matters: The threat of al-Shabab, a branch al-Qaeda, continues to grow in presence — a threat not just to Africa but also to the U.S. (An unnamed official described al-Shabab to NBC News “as Al Qaeda’s largest and wealthiest global affiliate”).
- Roughly 500 troops will be sent to Somalia. These will not be *new* troops to the region of Africa, but a repositioning of existing troops from elsewhere in Africa to Somalia.
- “Al-Shabab fighters have killed at least 12 Americans in East Africa in recent years, including three defense contractors during an attack on a military site in Kenya in 2020.” (Military Times)
- Previously, approximately 700 troops had been deployed to Somalia in order to train Somali forces and support their fight against al-Shabab (as well as conduct U.S. counter-terrorism operations); the Trump administration pulled out troops towards the end of his term in office as part of an effort to wind down U.S. deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
- One of Pres. Trump’s campaign promises was to “end endless wars.” President Biden also made a similar promise to end “forever wars.”
- Bill Roggio also noted: “The situation in Somalia was deteriorating even before President Trump’s decision.”
by Jenna Lee,