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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.

SEE ALSO | Global terrorism threat has not gone away, says AEI fellow

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Francisco Valentin with the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa coordinates support resources at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Aug. 18, 2017 as part of efforts to improve security in Somalia by neutralizing violent extremist organizations like al-Shabab (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Alán Ortiz)

U.S. Marine Sgt. Joseph Bergeron explains combat marksmanship tactics to a group of Ugandan soldiers, Feb. 27, 2012. Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 12 sent a small team of Marines into Uganda, Feb. 3, to train Ugandan forces for the fight against al-Shabab in Somalia and the hunt for Joseph Kony and the Lord’s resistance army (Photo by Cpl. Jad Sleiman)

 

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