Pentagon Weighs Proposal to Send Dozens of Troops Back to Somalia


“Al Shabab has had more freedom to maneuver,” Maj. Gen. Dagvin R.M. Anderson, who instructions American Special Operations forces in Africa, mentioned in an interview. In current Senate testimony, General Anderson referred to as Al Shabab “the largest, wealthiest and most violent Al Qaeda-associated group in the world.”

Proponents of stepping up counterterrorism actions in Somalia say it will be important for the United States to proceed strikes on militants and to assist practice authorities forces to stop their territory from changing into a haven for planning terrorist assaults. But some analysts expressed pessimism about what could possibly be achieved there, citing Somalia’s deep-seated political, financial and safety issues.

“Absent a more comprehensive overhaul to the U.S. approach, neither military trainers nor drone strikes will be sufficient to change the trajectory of the conflict, which weighs heavily in Al Shabab’s favor,” mentioned Tricia Bacon, a Somalia specialist at American University in Washington and a former counterterrorism analyst for the State Department.

“Unfortunately, there is no military solution to the conflict,” she mentioned.

Under the Trump-era guidelines, the United States carried out 52 drone strikes in Somalia in 2020 and 63 the yr earlier than, nearly all towards Al Shabab with a handful of assaults towards the Islamic State in Somalia. The navy performed six extra strikes within the last days of the Trump administration, however it has not carried out any since Mr. Biden turned president.

When the Biden administration imposed the brand new limits on such strikes, it initially envisioned devising a brand new set of guidelines for drone strikes as half of a 60-day overview of counterterrorism coverage. The talks have now prolonged for nearly 5 months.

The delays have been pushed by a quantity of components, together with uncertainty about how distant drones that may perform strikes in Afghanistan will probably be primarily based — the place the brand new guidelines may also apply after American floor forces pull out — and competing priorities for the use of surveillance craft used to watch who’s coming and going from a strike zone.

Policymakers are wrestling with questions like whether or not to tighten a requirement of “near certainty” that no civilians will probably be killed in order that it at all times protects grownup males, not simply ladies and youngsters. They are additionally contemplating whether or not a newly appointed chief of an Islamist militant group might be focused primarily based on his place alone and with out understanding a lot else about that individual, or whether or not extra must be discovered about his actions and intentions first.



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