President Biden has just authorized the deployment of hundreds of troops to Somalia, reversing former President Trump’s withdrawal of forces from the area. Biden also approved the Pentagon’s request to target specific leaders of the Somali terror group al-Shabab.
- There were around 750 troops before Trump withdrew them and will be around 450 this time, said Bill Roggio, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and editor of its Long War Journal. “It looks like we are just putting a smaller lid on the cauldron of Somalia,” he said.
- Roggio said Biden likely wants to prevent another state from falling into the hands of an al-Qaeda-linked group “after Afghanistan collapsed on his watch.”
- He said stalling al-Shabab’s growth would require a few thousand American troops and that the root of the problem is Somalia’s limited capabilities.