The U.S. troop surge in Somalia

The few Americans that pay attention know that we've had another troop surge in Afghanistan, but did you know we've deployed hundreds of soldiers to Somalia too?

The Pentagon announced in a statement Thursday there are now "more than" 500 US troops on the ground in Somalia.
A significant increase from early 2014 when roughly two dozen troops arrived for the first time since 1993 and the Black Hawk Down incident.
US Africa Command says there have been 28 airstrikes this year, mostly from drones against al-Shabaab, long considered the greatest terror threat in Africa.
At a press conference Thursday at the Pentagon, a top defense official denied any "ramp-up."
"I do not believe necessarily there's a ramp-up," said Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., director of the Pentagon's Joint Staff when asked about the spike in airstrikes in Somalia.

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Hundreds of additional troops and dozens of airstrikes, but 'no buildup'?
The Pentagon has used the Niger ambush to bolster Africom.
A Navy Seal was killed in a firefight in Somalia in May.

We've been messing with Somalia non-stop since mid-2006, when they had the temerity to kick out our warlords.
Eventually, late in 2006, we underwrote the invasion of Muslim Somalia by Christian Ethiopia that killed tens of thousands of Somalians.
In 2011 it was revealed that the CIA had a secret torture prison in Somalia.

The U.S. military invasion of the African continent is expanding faster than anywhere outside of the Middle East even before the buildups in Somalia and Libya.

“At any given time, you will find SOCAFRICA conducting approximately 96 activities in 20 countries,” Donald Bolduc, the U.S. Army general who runs the special operations command in Africa (SOCAFRICA), wrote in an October 2016 strategic planning guidance report....
Bolduc indicated his solution was the “acceleration of SOF [special operations forces] missions [filling] a strategic gap as the military adjusts force structure now and in the future.” Translation: U.S. commandos “in more places, doing more” in Africa going forward.
At the same time, Bolduc says the U.S. is not at war in Africa....

The 2016 SOCAFRICA report lists seven terror groups by name - al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Magreb, ISIS, Ansar al-Sharia, al-Murabitun, Boko Haram, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and al-Shabaab.
Four of these groups do not operate in Libya or Somalia.

That isn't the only problematic scenario.

In the State Department’s Human Rights reports that they put out every year, if you look at Chad, the country is cited every year for various forms of human rights abuses carried out by security forces: extrajudicial killings, torture, assault. Also United Nations reports, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, they’ve all cited Chad for military crimes outside of its borders. This is the force that the United States is hanging its hat on.
Chad’s forces just a few years ago were involved in a report from Amnesty International about a massive recruitment of child soldiers. So this is one of the U.S.’s main proxy forces and it institutes them.

Just three months ago I posted this: It's only a matter of time before our forces in Africa get ambushed, and the reaction to the news of dead American soldiers in a strange country will be, "Did you even know we had troops there? WTF is going on?"

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Azazello's picture

Are they enemies or allies ? Could be they're just an excuse for the US to invade and occupy the Horn of Africa.

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13 users have voted.

to fill a tea cup, but if our Empire wants whatever resource Somalia has, they will arm up and get it. Oil? Minerals? Strategic location? What are we going to rob them of?

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NonnyO's picture

A while back I remember reading that Erik Prince, who now lives in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates part time, was looking to expand his newest venture (Frontier, based in Hong Kong) by buying planes to create his own private air force. Remember, when he had Blackwater he made a killing in profiting off of US taxpayers with his mercenaries in Iraq and elsewhere - and some of his employees were put on trial for murder and/or rape. It was quite a kerfluffle at the time.

Then we read/watched video stories about the fact that Erik Prince - brother of the new Education Secy, Betsy DeVos, who wants to privatize education (both are religious fanatics) - was skulking around in the shadows of the White House offering to be an unofficial emissary or adviser for Trump.

More recently everyone was surprised when our Cretinous Congress Critters voluntarily gave the DoD an extra $800 Billion out of the blue for no stated reason....

So..., who is bombing Somalia, and why? Is it private mercenaries (Erik Prince's Frontier or another mercenary group, perhaps Halliburton or DynCorp or Kellogg, Brown & Root, or someone else?) and DoD is purchasing planes for them? Or is it the US Air Force?

Either way, WTF are we doing in Somalia?!?!?

Not that I'm suspicious or anything, but inquiring minds want to know these little facts.

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I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute ..., where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference. — President John F. Kennedy, Houston, TX, 12 September 1960

divineorder's picture

....

Oh

Oh no. On Cheney track to power?

Found nothing so far mentioning him having a connection to Somalia though.

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

NonnyO's picture

@divineorder Prince is someone who needs to be watched. I wouldn't expect to find too much in public records about him since he has apparently only offered to help the Drumpf administration privately, not be appointed to any public office with authority. After the Blackwater mercenaries were tried for their crimes, I suspect Prince saw the handwriting on the wall and that may have influenced his decision to move to Abu Dhabi, UAE. The Wikipedia page indicates he lives there "part time," whatever that means.

I have paused to wonder how Prince's extreme Xian "values" mix with living in a Muslim country, and what his sister, Betsy DeVos, thinks of that. I should think living in a Muslim country would be the last choice for an extreme reichwingnut Xian who equates Islam with terrorism. OTOH, I suppose it's easier keeping his money in a country like that unless he has great ties to an offshore bank here in the US.

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I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute ..., where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference. — President John F. Kennedy, Houston, TX, 12 September 1960

snoopydawg's picture

I have no words to express my horror about what our military is doing and has done to civilians in countries that hadn't threatened us. Where is the outrage from not only everyone in this country, but in others? Very few media outlets are even saying anything about our global death squads. We received a small taste of this on 9/11 when we were horrified by 3,000 of our citizens who were killed, yet most people are blithfully unaware that we are doing that to people in other countries. The media blackout of our terrorism is shameful.

We've been messing with Somalia non-stop since mid-2006, when they had the temerity to kick out our warlords.
Eventually, late in 2006, we underwrote the invasion of Muslim Somalia by Christian Ethiopia that killed tens of thousands of Somalians.
In 2011 it was revealed that the CIA had a secret torture prison in Somalia.

This article is mostly about how the Libyan war helped Boko Harem to become more powerful, but describes how Libya has become a training camp for terrorists all over Africa.
Great job, Hillary and Barry! The amount of violence, misery and deaths your little adventure cost is unmeasurable.

Quit your crying, Cameron – you boosted Boko Haram

In Libya itself there is violent turmoil, the country splitting into a patchwork of profoundly opposed tribal territories. And around Libya there is war, the ultimate bloody byproduct of the West’s thoughtless unravelling of the political systems that cohered large swathes of northern Africa for a long period of time.

The Libya fallout did not only create a newly destabilised territory in which opportunistic Islamists could fight and train – it also unleashed weaponry across northern and western Africa. According to a report produced by the Al-Jazeera Center for Studies (AJCS), following the ousting of Gaddafi, and the creation of more ‘porous borders’ in north Africa, much of Libya’s ‘state armoury’ fell into Islamists’ hands. And, the report says, ‘terrorist groups like AQIM acquired heavy weapons such as SAM-7 anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, transporting them back to the Sahel region’ (a belt of Africa that encompasses parts of Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Chad, Nigeria and elsewhere)

The real scandal of the Benghazi campaign was that Gaddafi's weapons were seized by not only the CIA who armed the Syrian rebels, but also armed terrorists in other countries too. I'm pretty sure that congress was aware of this, but hey, let's just not tell Americans the truth about what really happened!

Even though Trump removed the restrictions on protecting civilians during drone strikes, this shouldn't give the military cart blanch to commit war crimes. The ICC is investigating our country for war crimes, hopefully it will go all the way up to the presidents that were in charge when they happened. Some day this country is going to be held accountable for what it has done. I hope I'm here to see it happen. @divineorder

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a longtime oligarch eugenics plan is already well underway

earth is the insane asylum for the universe

Song of the lark's picture

"Due to its proximity to the oil-rich Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the nation has also long been believed to contain substantial unexploited reserves of crude oil. A 1992 survey of Northeast Africa by the World Bank and U.N. ranked Somalia second only to Sudan as the top prospective producer."

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@Song of the lark

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