Make no mistake about it, the Biden regime is not pursuing a foreign policy of restraint. On May 16, 2022, the Biden regime demonstrated this by authorizing the deployment of American troops to Somalia.
This move was a reversal of a Trump era policy to withdraw almost all forces that were conducting operations there. According to a report by Al Jazeera, United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made this deployment request.
“The President has approved a request from the secretary of defense to reestablish a persistent US military presence in Somalia to enable a more effective fight against al Shabab, which has increased in strength and proposed poses a heightened threat,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated.
“This is a repositioning of forces already in theatre who have traveled in and out of Somalia on an episodic basis since the previous administration made the decision to withdraw,” Jean-Pierre added.
Before Trump’s withdrawal order, the US government had 700 troops operating in Somalia with the mission of aiding local forces take on the Islamic militant group al-Shabab. On several occasions, US military forces have carried out strikes in the country.
According to a New York Times report, this decision was approved in early May and would have had no more than 450 troops be deployed to Somalia. One official informed Reuters that the amount of troops deployed would be below 500.
The Pentagon insists that these troops will not be conducting military operations.
“Our forces are not now, nor will they be, directly engaged in combat operations,” stated Pentagon press secretary John Kirby. “The purpose here is to enable a more effective fight against al-Shabab by local forces.”
This deployment measure came in the wake of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s presidential election victory on May 15. Mohamud previously served as president between 2012 and 2017.
Since strongman Mohamed Siad Barre was disposed in 1991, Somalia has been in a state of political fragmentation, which has made it an attractive area for transnational Jihadist groups to conduct operations in. Such activity has prompted the US to intervene in the early 1990s and even into the present.
That said, Somalia has zero strategic value to the US, which makes this redeployment of forces to Somalia all the more bizarre. But when one understands US foreign policy against the backdrop of the neoliberal/neoconservative consensus that’s present in DC, it makes perfect sense.
In an ideal world, the US would be deploying special forces to the southern border to take drug cartels head on. Alas, we don’t live in a rational political order so that’s not happening anytime soon.