Pindostan escalating covert war in Somalia
Jordan Shilton, WSWS, Oct 17 2016
The Obama administration has covertly deployed hundreds of troops to Somalia to wage a secret war alongside private contractors and soldiers from African allied states, a NYT article revealed Sunday. Under the pretext of protecting Pindosi and African troops from al-Shabaab, the Obama administration has authorized the use of airstrikes in the country. As the NYT said bluntly:
The mission, which is referred to in military circles as the “Somalia campaign,” has several hundred troops in the country at any one time and is a blueprint for warfare which Obama has embraced and will pass along to his successor. It is a model that he now employs across the MENA, from Syria to Libya, despite his stated aversion to “boots on the ground” in the world’s war zones.
The revelation, days after government boxtops informed the Pindosi sheeple that Pindostan had launched missile strikes in Yemen, demonstrates that the Obama administration has dragged the sheeple into yet another war without even a semblance of public debate. The Somalia operations come on top of large-scale military interventions in Afghanistan, Syria and Libya, where they have been deployed and airstrikes have been carried out since August under the pretext of targeting Daesh. In total, the NYT notes, the Pentagon has carried out airstrikes in seven countries this year and SOF are operating in “many more.” Pindostan is waging war in Somalia in support of the shaky Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which barely controls any territory outside of Mogadishu. It was only able to establish itself following a brutal Pindosi-backed invasion by Ethiopia, and thanks to ongoing support from African Union soldiers. Between 200 and 300 US SOF under the control of AFRICOM collaborate regularly with Somali National Army units and soldiers from Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti and Kenya to plan and conduct ground operations against al-Shabaab. According to Obama’s semi-annual briefing to Congress on foreign military operations, they are not only present to target al-Shabaab, but also to “advise and assist” regional counter-terrorism efforts. This has been one of the favored formulations to justify the deployment of Pindo soldiers to war zones around the world such as in Iraq, where the alleged advisers frequently operate on the front line in fighting against Daesh. AFRICOM has repeatedly dismissed reports that its frequent airstrikes have led to civilian casualties, including at least 13 this year. In one of the most recent incidents, AFRICOM denied claims by officials in the autonomous region of Galmudug that a US drone strike killed 22 local soldiers and civilians last month in the city of Galkayo. Even strikes authorized to support offensive operations launched by Somali forces in conjunction with Pindostan are routinely labelled as “self-defense” actions.
Significantly, Pindo forces are not only fighting but also engage in joint interrogation sessions with Somali forces. Ominously recalling the methods employed in Afghanistan and Iraq, where Pindo troops worked hand in glove with local authorities guilty of torture and abuse of prisoners, the NYT merely noted in passing that after such sessions, Pindo forces hand over prisoners to be interned in Somali prisons. The suggestion that the Pindosi war in Somalia is defensive is absurd. Control over the strategically-important country, which lies adjacent to some of the most important sea lanes in the world for the transportation of oil and other commodities, is seen as essential by the Pindosi ruling elite if Faschingstein is to retain its global hegemonic position. The NYT’s attempt to cast the catastrophic conditions in Somalia as the result of the actions of al-Shabaab is highly disingenuous. The country has not had a functioning government for over two decades. In truth, Pindostan bears chief responsibility for more than a quarter century of bitter fighting and endemic poverty. In 1991, Washington withdrew its longstanding support for the regime of Siad Barre, leading to its collapse. It then seized on a famine crisis to legitimize the deployment of 30,000 troops to the country in a bid to establish a Pindosi client regime. After the Battle of Mogadishu, in which 18 Pindosi soldiers were killed, Clinton 42 withdrew the troops, but the withdrawal did not mean that Pindostan remained on the sidelines. In the wake of 9/11, the Bush administration established the first permanent Pindo military base in Africa, in neighboring Djibouti, from where air strikes and drone operations have been flown.
In 2006, Pindostan played a key role in backing an Ethiopian invasion to topple the moderate Islamic Courts regime, which had ousted the Pindosi-backed TFG. The ensuing fighting killed tens of thousands, and the brutality of the Ethiopian occupiers fueled increased support for al-Shabaab. The invasion included more than a week-long shelling campaign against Mogadishu, which reduced large parts of the capital to rubble and turned hundreds of thousands into refugees. Pindosi airstrikes and naval bombardments were organized to back Ethiopia’s military operations. After capturing Mogadishu and reinstating the TFG, the Ethiopian force was supplemented by troops from Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti and Burundi under the auspices of an AU “peacekeeping” mission. Pindosi “advisers” were in Somalia almost without interruption from 2006. It only came to light in 2014 that around 120 Pindo soldiers had been operating there since 2007, first alongside the Ethiopian invasion and later as part of the AU mission. Pindo operations in Somalia are only part of a vastly expanding array of military deployments organized by AFRICOM across the continent. In its annual briefing to the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this year, AFRICOM noted that in FY 2015, it “conducted 75 joint operations, 12 major joint exercises, and 400 security cooperation activities.” As well as its permanent military base in Djibouti, the Pentago0n has drone bases in Uganda, Seychelles, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Niger. The dramatic expansion of Pindosi military activity in Africa since AFRICOM was established in 2007 reflects the determination of Faschingstein to subjugate the resource-rich continent, consolidate its geostrategic and economic hegemony and block the emergence of its rivals in Africa, above all China but also the European imperialist powers which are seeking to reestablish domination over their former colonial possessions.
The ever more aggressive character of the operations conducted by AFRICOM was demonstrated earlier this year with the appointment of Gen T Waldhauser as its new commander. The four-star Marine Corps general has led Pindo operations in AfPak & Iraq. During an appearance in front of the Armed Services Committee, Waldhauser vowed to expand the GWOT throughout Africa and stated he would request the authority to carry out targeted killings without presidential approval. One area of major focus for AFRICOM is the Sahel region, south of the Sahara. Pindosi forces have been deployed to Cameroon and Niger, where they have been training the armed forces on the pretext of combatting Boko Haram. The Intercept reported two weeks ago on the basis of formerly secret documents obtained via a Freedom of Information request that the Obama administration is planning to spend an additional $100m to establish a new drone base capable of hosting MQ-9 Reapers, larger and more lethal than the Predators used throughout the MENA. Days before the NYT revealed the covert operations in Somalia, Stars & Stripes confirmed that a fleet of F16s had been deployed to Djibouti since July in preparation for a possible “crisis response” mission in South Sudan. The country, which gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 with the backing of Faschingstein, has substantial energy resources and is crucial to the Pindosi strategy of preventing expanding Chinese influence. It has been gripped by civil war almost since its independence.