East African Desk
When I mention the Horn of Africa I get some unusual looks….most Americans only know of the region from a movie night when they watched “Black Hawk Down”………It refers to the countries of Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia and the area around the mouth of the Red Sea…..Americans sent a bunch of troops into Somalia to try and head off the rise in militancy…….it was a disaster and we pack up and headed for home…only after many Americans had lost their lives…..
Recently the Somalia militants have attacked the presidential palace and a mini battle took place……..
Militants have stormed the presidential palace in Mogadishu, though the BBC reports that Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is not there today. A police official said the attack started when a car bomb exploded outside the presidential complex. Gunmen then entered the palace, their entry apparently made easier because many members of the military police were traveling with Mohamud. A firefight is still ongoing. The Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which lost control of the Somalian capital in 2011, has vowed to step up attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
They were beaten off……since the military is a weak entity and the militants seem to always have the upper hand…..who could have put together a successful operation to thwart the militants attack?
U.S. military advisors have secretly operated in Somalia since around 2007 and Washington plans to deepen its security assistance to help the country fend off threats by Islamist militant group al Shabaab, U.S. officials said.
The comments are the first detailed public acknowledgement of a U.S. military presence in Somalia dating back since the U.S. administration of George W. Bush and add to other signs of a deepening U.S. commitment to Somalia’s government, which the Obama administration recognized last year.
The deployments, consisting of up to 120 troops on the ground, go beyond the Pentagon’s January announcement that it had sent a handful of advisors in October. That was seen at the time as the first assignment of U.S. troops to Somalia since 1993 when two U.S. helicopters were shot down and 18 American troops killed in the “Black Hawk Down” disaster.
Now I ask again…..who do you think would have the expertise to successfully thwart a militant operation?