Joe Biden secretly ordered several hundred U.S. ground forces back to Somalia earlier this month, the New York Times reported Monday. Biden’s order reverses the pull-out of U.S. forces ordered by President Trump in December 2020 and completed before he left office the next month.
Al Shabab terrorists in Somalia, file image.
U.S. forces have been involved in war-torn Somalia for four decades now, starting in the early 1990s with a humanitarian mission under President George H. W. Bush which led to the infamous ‘Black Hawk Down’ battle in Mogadishu under President Bill Clinton in 1993 that killed 18 GIs and wounded dozens more.
President Biden has signed an order authorizing the military to once again deploy hundreds of Special Operations forces inside Somalia — largely reversing the decision by President Donald J. Trump to withdraw nearly all 700 ground troops who had been stationed there, according to four officials familiar with the matter.
In addition, Mr. Biden has approved a Pentagon request for standing authority to target about a dozen suspected leaders of Al Shabab, the Somali terrorist group that is affiliated with Al Qaeda, three of the officials said. Since Mr. Biden took office, airstrikes have largely been limited to those meant to defend partner forces facing an immediate threat.
…Mr. Biden signed off on the proposal by Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III in early May, officials said. In a statement, Adrienne Watson, the National Security Council spokeswoman, acknowledged the move, saying it would enable “a more effective fight against Al Shabab.”
“The decision to reintroduce a persistent presence was made to maximize the safety and effectiveness of our forces and enable them to provide more efficient support to our partners,” she said.
After abandoning Afghanistan to the Taliban last summer in a deadly, humiliating retreat after a two decades long war, Biden has gotten the U.S. involved in an undeclared proxy war on Russia via Ukraine and is now getting the U.S. involved in Somalia’s ongoing civil war.