The role of US forces in Somalia will not be leadership or combat -Pentagon

Somalia discusses raising US support to fight terrorism

Saturday 09/17/2022




Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud discussed with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ways to enhance security relations between the two countries, at a time when Mogadishu needs greater international cooperation in confronting the Islamist movement Al-Shabab.

Sheikh Mahmoud’s visit to the United States is the first since he was elected president of Somalia on the fifteenth of last May, during which he will hold talks with American officials.

The Somali president discussed with Austin “ways to develop relations between the two countries in the security field and enhance stability in the region, in addition to raising US support for Somalia in the fight against terrorism.”

The two sides also discussed “the security operations conducted by the Somali government forces in some local states, as well as the security obstacles that need international cooperation in order to defeat terrorism that hindered the progress of countries in the region, and Somalia in particular.”

For his part, the US Secretary of Defense stated that “peace and stability in Somalia is the basis for stability in the region and the world, and that is why we intend to support Somalia in fighting terrorism and achieving stability.” He considered that Washington is keen “to strengthen cooperation and partnership with Somalia, to continue support in the humanitarian field, to train the army, and to combat terrorism.”

The return of the United States to Somalia forces Al-Shabaab to recalculate and play on a defensive policy instead of the offensive policy it is now practicing

A day after the completion of the presidential elections in Somalia, US President Joe Biden agreed to reposition his country’s forces in this country at the request of the Ministry of Defense, at a time when the Somali president faces major tasks in the security field, most notably the fight against terrorism and breaking the thorn of the Al-Shabab movement, which has strengthened its military and economic strength during the past years. .

Former President Donald Trump decided to withdraw US forces from Somalia before the end of his term in early 2021, and the decision entered into force on January 15 of the same year.

The role of the US forces in Somalia was neither a leader nor a combatant, nor will it be after their redeployment, as confirmed by the US Department of Defense. Rather, it is limited to providing advice, logistical and intelligence support to the Somali forces.

The Somali military expert, Colonel Ahmed Abdullah Al-Sheikh, believes that “the decision to redeploy the US forces is a good step in the right direction and in a timely manner, and carries important messages for the new president, Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud.”

The military expert says that the US decision sends a decisive message that Washington has signed an instrument declaring its support for the new president and the Somali people.

According to the sheikh, “Somalia was in dire need of redeploying these forces, and he hopes that joint anti-terror efforts will continue at the highest level between Mogadishu and Washington, after terrorist activity returns to the fore with force.”

The expert believes that the return of the United States to Somalia is forcing Al-Shabab to re-calculate and play on a defensive policy instead of the offensive policy it is now practicing.

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