Barack Obama

Why is the U.S. Still Meddling in Somalia?

Have we learned nothing in 20 years?



The United States entered Somalia with U.N. forces in late 1992 after the regime of Siad Barre collapsed and left by 1995 when it became obvious that no amount of U.N. intervention could help rebuild a state when there was a civil war going on.  For some time, nothing happened U.S. intervention wise. In the last decade, however, the U.S. re-inserted itself into Somalia; backing the Ethiopian and African troops who came into Mogadishu in late 2006 to oust the Islamic Courts Union, a sharia coalition that had taken power in the former Somali capital. The most dangerous element of the Islamic Courts Union, the youth wing Al-Shabab, split off from the ICU after the Ethiopian-U.S. invasion. Six years later, Al-Shabab has become an official franchise of Al-Qaeda and the impetus for continued U.S. intervention, with President Obama for the first time admitting a U.S. military presence in Somalia in his most recent war powers letter to Congress.

The Cato Institute's Malou Innocent explains where we are now:

Today, the United States fights al-Shabab by proxy. The group poses no direct threat to the security of the United States; however, exaggerated claims about the specter of al Qaeda could produce policy decisions that exacerbate a localized, regional problem into a global one. Amid news that African troops are doing the fighting, but that "The United States is doing almost everything else," African Union forces could be seen as a puppet proxy of Uncle Sam.

Washington is supplementing the training of African troops with private contractors. Outsourcing makes intervention easier, as policymakers can hide the costs of a mission they have yet to clearly define. Intervention on the cheap also becomes costly in other ways. For a commander in chief who allegedly believes he should take moral responsibility for America's lethal counterterrorism operations, privatizing intervention allows him and his administration to escape accountability should the forces we train, or the weapons we provide, turn against us or our allies.

Like moths to a flame, disparate Somali groups may rally around the perception they are fighting against the injustice of foreign meddling. Moreover, while military analysts were boasting back in June that al-Shabab could be facing the end of its once-powerful rule, questions surrounding what form of political stability will fill the al-Shabab vacuum remain unasked and unanswered.

Read the whole thing here.

More Reason on Somalia

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    1. Came here to post this.

      Oh, and Schools!

      1. I’d be despondent if this wasn’t the first comment on the thread.

  1. Because we can.

    And if we stop meddling on Somalia, that could be a slippery slope that leads to us stopping our meddling in other countries. And maybe even minding our own business. See what such crazy talk can lead too!!!!!

  2. Because if we don’t fight them there, then Somalia will become a base for AQ to train and equip their fighters in safety. And we can’t have that.

    At least I think that is the argument the war-boners use.

  3. Why is the U.S. Still Meddling in Somalia?

    To prove that it’s necessary to continue meddling everywhere else. Plus it makes us look like we care about Africans.

    And what the hell’s up with the line spacing and font size in that article? I’m telling you: Change is bad.

    1. Plus it makes us look like we care about Africans.

      Africans are smart enough to know the rest of the world doesn’t really give a damn about them. Continued African involvement is some weird morality play the rest of the world puts on to show each other they care about the darkies.

      1. Best thing we could do for them is treat them like adults. Don’t meddle in their affairs and trade with them.

  4. If we stop messing up Somalia how will we use to win arguments with libertarians?

  5. Once we wrest control of this nation from the cabal of war profiteers and their puppet government headed by George W Bush, we will end this evil aggression!

  6. Security in focus as Clinton heads to Africa

    Washington has reacted with increasing alarm as militant groups such as Somalia’s al Shabaab, Nigeria’s Boko Haram and al Qaeda’s African wing based in the vast Sahel region open new fronts to advance Islamic extremism.

    Concern over the Sahel has spiked since March when a coup in Mali opened the door to al Qaeda-linked Islamists in the north of the country, leading some analysts to say the lawless region could become an “African Afghanistan.”

    J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa program at the Atlantic Council, said Washington’s emphasis on security, coupled with the lack of new economic initiatives, had shifted the balance in U.S. ties with Africa.

    “It is militarization by default,” Pham said. “Part of the reason is the U.S. interest in fighting al Qaeda, and part of it is because of the weakness of our African partners which are unable to contain these threats themselves.”…..6A20120731

  7. “Ya’ll like a bunch of Somalis in here.”

  8. Because fuck you?

  9. We meddle because yes, Shabab is a threat to America, and our meddling works. Al-Shabab is badly losing and that is success. Cato can derp all it wants doesn’t change reality.

    1. *Citation needed

  10. I hope we’re sending some Central Casting types there so those pirates can get their sartorial shit together. I haven’t seen a single pegleg, eye patch or parrot in the whole bunch.

  11. Just a test… !@#$%^*()_

    HR… H@R

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