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Washington has been quietly equipping and training thousands of African soldiers to wage a widening proxy war against the Shabab, the Al Qaeda ally that has sparked alarm as foreign militants join its ranks. "You will push … the miscreants from that country, so Somalia can once again be free of tyranny and terrorism," he told them, according to a video of the May ceremony. "We know you are ready."
These weren't American soldiers. They were from impoverished Sierra Leone in West Africa. But Hogg, a top U.S. Army commander for Africa, was in Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital, because
Clinton holds meetings in at least six other African nations expected to focus heavily on the surge of Islamist groups in many countries - including al-Shabab in Somalia, which has links to al Qaeda.
She will highlight the fact that Uganda is a "key U.S. partner" in regional security efforts and note that American troops are also training Ugandan soldiers, who make up the biggest contingent of an African Union force operating in Somalia to help defend the largely powerless government there from Islamic militants.
The U.S. military is also helping to train and equip troops from other African nations to join the fight against militants in Somalia, including in Sierra Leone, where a senior U.S. Army commander visited recently to give a pep-talk to soldiers about to be deployed. (Click here to see video from the U.S. Army)
Nearly 20 years after U.S. Army Rangers suffered a bloody defeat in Somalia, losing 18 soldiers and two Black Hawk helicopters, Washington is once again heavily engaged in the chaotic country. Only this time, African troops are doing the fighting and dying.
The United States is doing almost everything else.
The U.S. has been quietly equipping and training thousands of African soldiers to wage a widening proxy war against the Shabab, the Al Qaeda ally that has imposed a harsh form of Islamic rule on southern Somalia and sparked alarm in Washington as foreign militants join its ranks.
Officially, the troops are under the auspices of the African Union. But in truth, according to interviews by U.S. and African officials and senior military officers and budget documents, the 15,000-strong force pulled from five African countries is largely a creation of the State Department and Pentagon, trained and supplied by the U.S. government and guided by dozens of retired foreign military personnel hired through private contractors.
The administration has not disclosed much in public about its role in Somalia, in part because African Union officials do not want their force seen as a Washington puppet. But Wafula Wamunyinyi, deputy head of the African Union mission, calls the U.S. "our most important partner," noting that its assistance has been "quite enormous."
The U.S. is supplying the African forces with surveillance drones, ammunition, small arms, armored personnel carriers, night-vision goggles, communications gear, medical equipment and other sophisticated aid and training, documents show.
No U.S. military personnel are deployed to Somalia with the African troops. Instead, the State Department pays a private firm to hire the retired foreign military personnel who advise the troops on tactics and operations.
"The U.S. is willing to be very open-minded about whatever the key components are that need to be funded, without which this mission would fail," said Michael C. Stock, president of Bancroft Global Development, the Washington-based company that hires the combat advisors. "When it comes to things like ammunition, when it comes to the mentoring and advising that we do, the U.S. is really playing the most important role."
Bancroft now has about 75 advisors in Somalia, double the number from a year ago, Stock said.
Originally posted by jibeho
OK I knew we had troops in Uganda, Congo, South Sudan etc with the goal to shore up security in the region. Obama even signed The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act which authorized US troop movement in 4 specific countries. In October 2011, he announced that he would send 100 American military advisors to Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help the regional forces remove Joseph Kony from the region.
No mention back then of going into Somalia. Granted we've been there before... Now we are back in the business of consulting and training foreign troops to fight yet another proxy war.
Did you miss this in the midst of all of the nations current distractions. Hillary Clinton was just talking about this during her trip to Senegal.
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To try and illustrate the enormity of the problem, Cargill, the Minnesota-based producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products, recently donated 10,000 metric tons of rice to WFP USA to be distributed in the Horn of Africa. The group said the donation – the largest ever food donation to WFP USA – would feed nearly 1 million people for a month. The need is to feed between 2.3 and 9.5 million people across the Horn of Africa for the rest of this year. The enormous donation above is therefore just a drop in the ocean.
Actually, most of the nation recipients of tax-subsidized Cargill food dumping were, and are, net exporters of food already — policies imposed by colonial trading patterns. The food (for Peace) has been bought cheaply by neocolonial regimes, and then sold at a huge discount on the local market — in Somalia, for example, at one-sixth of the local prices. Many examples of these misguided policies can be found in “Betraying the National Interest: How US Foreign AID Threatens Global Security by Undermining the Political and Economic Stability of the Third World,” by Frances Moore Lappe, et al.
Somalia's interim federal government is tasked with adopting a new constitution by August, aimed in part at redefining the relationship between Mogadishu and the regions and ending a two-decade cycle of violence. The Western-backed government has been fighting al Shabaab militants who still control large swathes of the country and want to impose Sharia law. Puntland has objected to the first draft of the constitution, saying it left too much power with Mogadishu. WHO GETS WHAT? Dool said the country's petroleum law made clear the government should dictate license agreements with foreign investors, while ensuring the regions get a cut. "It has very clear guidelines on the rules on who gets what and what will be the way to resolve (disputes) between central government and (the) regions," he said. "The petroleum law makes it very clear it is the central government who has absolute control but there is a role for ... local government or regions."
By MARK FINEMAN DATELINE: MOGADISHU, Somalia Far beneath the surface of the tragic drama of Somalia, four major U.S. oil companies are quietly sitting on a prospective fortune in exclusive concessions to explore and exploit tens of millions of acres of the Somali countryside. That land, in the opinion of geologists and industry sources, could yield significant amounts of oil and natural gas if the U.S.-led military mission can restore peace to the impoverished East African nation. According to documents obtained by The Times, nearly two-thirds of Somalia was allocated to the American oil giants Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips in the final years before Somalia's pro-U.S. President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown and the nation plunged into chaos in January, 1991. Industry sources said the companies holding the rights to the most promising concessions are hoping that the Bush Administration's decision to send U.S. troops to safeguard aid shipments to Somalia will also help protect their multimillion-dollar investments there. Officially, the Administration and the State Department insist that the U.S. military mission in Somalia is strictly humanitarian. Oil industry spokesmen dismissed as "absurd" and "nonsense" allegations by aid experts, veteran East Africa analysts and several prominent Somalis that President Bush, a former Texas oilman, was moved to act in Somalia, at least in part, by the U.S. corporate oil stake. But corporate and scientific documents disclosed that the American companies are well positioned to pursue Somalia's most promising potential oil reserves the moment the nation is pacified.
This week, the Pentagon approved the latest $41-million aid package to African countries with troops in Somalia, with little public notice. Uganda, with the largest contingent, received $19.5 million for "vehicles, small arms, boats, night-vision devices, communications and electronic equipment, training and minor military construction" for its forces. Burundi was given $13.2 million for vehicles and other gear, and Kenya received $7.1 million for eight handheld drones and training.
NAIROBI, Kenya — Foreign military forces have joined the offensive against the Shabab militant group in Somalia as Kenyan troops advanced toward the rebel stronghold of Kismayu from two different directions, Kenya said Sunday.
A Kenyan military spokesman, Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir, said that “one of the partners,” possibly the United States or France, had been behind airstrikes in the past few days, killing a number of Shabab militants. The French Navy has also shelled rebel positions from the sea, the Kenyan military said in a statement.
Two senior American officials in Washington said Sunday that neither the United States military nor the Central Intelligence Agency had carried out airstrikes in Somalia in recent days. One of the officials, who follows American military operations closely, said the Kenyan offensive had forced many Shabab fighters and commanders to disperse, making them easier potential targets, but emphasized that there had been “no U.S. military strikes in Somalia at all recently.”
SOMALIS www.cal.org/co/somali/shist.html Feb 18, 2004 – In November 1977, Siyaad Barre expelled the Soviets from Somalia. By the spring of 1978, as a result of the Soviet shift of support to Ethiopia, ..
Somalia's leaders, many of whom had been educated in Italy and Britain, were initially well disposed to the West. Their desire to be nonaligned, however, led them to establish close ties with the Soviet Union and China. During the 1960s, the Soviet Union provided both military and economic aid, while China provided considerable development assistance. The United States provided development aid only. During that time, Ethiopia was the United States' principal ally in the region and a beneficiary of large-scale U.S. development and military aid. For as long as that alliance lasted, the United States remained reluctant to provide military assistance to Somalia.
The continued push of the Somali forces and their capture of most of the Ogaden forced the Soviet Union to choose sides; it cut off all arms to Somalia and provided Ethiopia with massive military assistance in the form of air power and Cuban and Yemeni troops.
By the mid-1980s, government and opposition movements were clan based.
Places like India and Bengal (Bangladesh) which were highly advanced industrial societies by the mid-1700's but all of the industries which were superior to their counterparts in Britain were deliberately undermined or simply forced out of existence by the British colonisers. India and Bangladesh became extremely poor, feudal agricultural countries supplying Britain with raw materials and as a captive market for British goods. The latter is a familiar pattern outlined by Chomsky in this book. The West, since World war II, dominated by the U.S., has always sought any way it could to block advanced economic development in the third world.