Image Credit: DVIDSHUB via Flickr Most Americans are at least somewhat familiar with our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, given the never-ending parade of dreary headlines flowing from those conflicts over the last two decades. But very few are well-versed in a similar quagmire in Somalia, which has received far less media coverage—but recently became the longest war in United States’ history.
President Biden recently authorized the military to deploy approximately 500 troops to Somalia even though it was only 18 months ago that 700 troops had been pulled out by former President Trump. While the decision to re-deploy is a folly on a large scale, at the very least, Biden’s authorization has spotlighted America’s forgotten war in the horn of Africa for a moment. It’s an opportunity to revisit the many failures of US intervention in Somalia and call for an end to yet another unwinnable American war.
On that note, here’s how it all began.
In the wake of 9/11, former President George Bush dispatched the CIA and The Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) to Somalia to fight Islamic extremists. In what’s sadly standard protocol, the CIA attempted to do so by funding , arming and supporting local warlords so that in return, they’d hunt and kill extremists. (Ironically, the US funded some of the same warlords we fought in 1993 during the disastrous Black Hawk Down scenario.)
Naturally, the US empowering violent warlords only led to greater opposition . The stronger the opposition became, the more the warlords would come to the CIA for increased weapons and funds, claiming there was a growing insurgency of extremists. Realistically, terrorized Somalians were simply finding refuge in whatever group they could.
In reaction to warlord tyranny, in 2005, 13 disparate groups came together to form the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), essentially a rudimentary […]
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