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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Somalia: US Intervention

US's latest battleground


AMIR HOSSAIN | Issue Dated: November 30, -0001, New Delhi
Tags : Somalia | US | Afghanistan war | Al-Qaeda | Al-Shabab |

US President Barack Obama's decision to withdraw troops from Iraq in 2011 and his readiness to do the same in Afghanistan by 2014 have been welcomed by American by and large. After all, the US economy has been through a bout of prolonged debilitation and seemed incapable of sustaining two wars simultaneously.

However, a report published by the United Nations Monitoring Group for Somalia and Eritrea reveals that the US is preparing for a secret war in Somalia. Quixotic as it may sound, security threats and concerns about the growing influence of Al-Qaeda in the heart of Africa appear to motivate Obama to rush in where others would fear to tread.

Al Qaeda's offshoot in Somalia, called Al-Shabab, has grown its clout and spread its tentacles in recent years. To protect its interests in the region, the Obama adminsitration has taken up the gauntlet to confront and come down hard on the militant outfit. But an embargo by the UN Security Council, imposed in 1992, "on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Somalia," might act as a stumbling block for the Americans to go after Al Qaeda with all their military might. But that is not deterring the US to amass troops and armoury in Somalia’s neighbouring Djibouti and the northern part of the country with the help of Puntland, a breakaway province of the troubled African nation.

Intriguingly though, Obama’s latest war initiative is being carried on under the cloak of secrecy. Fearful of a backlash at a time when the US economy is still reeling and the nation's mood is decidedly against undertaking any adventurist military campaign that would further bleed the economy, the government has been wary of making its plans public. Another consideration weighing heavily on the minds of US officials could be the track record of America's past incursions.  Starting from the Vietnam War to its military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan – the outcome of all such wars belied American expectations. And there is no reason to believe that America's latest venture would be any different.


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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017