July 23, 2013

Somalia: Obama's Other Secret War

by John Glaser

The Obama administration is violating international law and United Nations resolutions in conducting its largely secret war in Somalia.

At Foreign Policy, Colum Lynch writes that, "the Obama administration earlier this year expanded its secret war in Somalia, stepping up assistance for federal and regional Somali intelligence agencies that are allied against the country's Islamist insurgency" in "a move that's not only violating the terms of an international arms embargo," but may also be emboldening al-Shabab.

This is not exactly news. In a number of articles in 2011, The Nation's Jeremy Scahill uncovered Obama's secret war, which included secret prisons run by CIA proxies, harsh interrogations, and directing funding and training of unscrupulous militants, many of whom were former (and current?) warlords. The "counter-terrorism" effort in Somalia also included "targeted strikes by U.S. Special Operations forces, drone attacks and expanded surveillance operations." . . .


"A Long History of U.S. Intervention in Somalia: From Black Hawk Down to 2010," The Wisdom Fund, July 13, 2010

Kim Sengupta, "Britain's New Year Resolution: Intervene in Somalia," Independent, December 22, 2011

"The United States' Scramble for Africa's Resources Escalates," The Wisdom Fund, January 28, 2013

[Al-Shabab said the attack was in response to Kenyan troops in Somalia.--"Somalia's al-Shabab claims Nairobi Westgate Kenya attack,", September 21, 2013]

[ . . . the U.S. government has intervened directly in Somalia and backed repeated invasions by neighboring African states, including Kenya. In the process, a relatively moderate government was overthrown, resistance to invaders was radicalized, and the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab gained partial control, which would have been unlikely without that intervention.--"The Kenyan massacre's roots in America's Somalia policy,", September 24, 2013]

Scott Horton, "U.S. government to blame for Somalia's misery,", September 25, 2013

Paul Gottinger, "Savage U.S. Policies: Understanding Kenya's Westgate Mall Attack,", September 25, 2013

Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh, "Jeremy Scahill: Al-Shabab's Nairobi Mall Rampage Tied to 'Disastrous' US Meddling in Somalia,", September 26, 2013

Andre Vltchek, "What Really Happened at Westgate,", September 27, 2013

Alvite Singh Ningthoujam, "Military ties bind Israel and Kenya,", October 9, 2013

[Countries are "pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world", wrote Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India, in 1898. Nothing has changed. The shopping mall massacre in Nairobi was a bloody facade behind which a full-scale invasion of Africa and a war in Asia are the great game.--John Pilger, "More Than Jihadism or Iran, China's Role in Africa is Obama's Obsession,", October 9, 2013]

Editorial Board, "Why are we in Somalia? A military intervention with no purpose for U.S.,", October 18, 2016

[Even easier to ignore Somalia, whose descent into warlordism is fundamentally linked to overfishing of corporate trawlers inside Somalia's territorial waters and interventions by foreign powers (including the United States). . . .

489 million of those who are chronically food insecure and malnourished live in countries affected by conflict.--Vijay Prashad, "From War in Syria to Bombing in Somalia, We Are Witnessing the Division of Humanity,", October 18, 2016]

Michael M. Phillips, "America's Other Endless War: Battling al-Shabaab in Somalia,", January 17, 2019

"AFRICOM's 60th airstrike in Somalia this year takes out terrorist,", December 17, 2019

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