Discussion in 'Jollies Bar' started by Scotland19, Oct 12, 2018.
Next war..... I call Scarborough.
Islamic State group's deputy leader in Somalia is killed in U.S. strike
American military involvement in the country has grown since President Donald Trump approved expanded operations against al-Shabab early in his term.
April 15, 2019, 5:40 PM GDT
By F. Brinley Bruton
The deputy leader of the Islamic State group in Somalia was killed in an American airstrike, the U.S. military confirmed Monday.
"In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia's continued efforts to degrade violent extremist organizations, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike in the vicinity of Xiriiro, Bari Region, Somalia, on April 14, 2019, killing Abdulhakim Dhuqub, a high ranking ISIS-Somalia official," said spokesperson for the command said in a statement.
A witness told Reuters that a vehicle was hit by several missiles around 2 miles outside the village of Xiriiro in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland.
"Today's airstrike killed Abdulhakim Dhuqub, the deputy leader of Islamic State," Puntland's security minister, Abdisamad Mohamed Galan, told Reuters on Sunday.
According to the U.N., Dhuqub helped set up the first cell of al-Ittihad al-Islamiya, an ideological predecessor of al-Shabab, a militant group that seeks to establish its own version of repressive Shariah law and has been fighting the government in the Horn of Africa nation for over a decade.
He later defected to ISIS.
Interesting as Libya again experiences more "issues," I wonder how many people will come across into Europe again during the summer. How many of them wont have ideas of society that align with ours.
Libya and Iraq both being examples of ‘regime change’ fostered by other ‘states’ and the resulting chaos it creates!
Political careers perhaps endure about ten years; the consequences of regime change perhaps over one hundred years. The arithmetic is simple.
Stating the obvious here perhaps but if it is so obvious why do 'we' keep making the same mistake?
Lightning brigade: Training advanced infantry — not airstrikes — is AFRICOM’s primary effort in Somalia
By: Kyle Rempfer March 27
The U.S. mission in Somalia has garnered attention as airstrikes in the country ramped up over the past few years, but it is a band of specialized local infantry being trained by American contractors and U.S. troops that Africa Command says is the primary security effort there.
Somalia’s Danab Advanced Infantry Brigade, or lightning force, is a growth point that AFRICOM is eagerly cultivating.
U.S. military forces are heavily involved in training Danab, which includes instruction on advanced warfighting techniques and how to conduct effective unit-level operations.
Danab troops are first trained by Bancroft Global Development, a private security company, before being further groomed by U.S. troops.
“Currently, the recruitment and basic training for the Danab Brigade is provided through a Department of State administered cooperative agreement with Bancroft Global Development," a State Department official said on background. "This training prepares the forces for follow-on training and mentorship provided by U.S. military forces.”
Danab started out as a 150-person unit roughly five years ago, but has since grown to become one of Somalia’s most-used military assets.
Ultimately, the Danab brigade will consist of 3,000 member forces across each of the six Somali National Army sectors. The unit will report to a brigade headquarters at Baledogle Airfield — a former Soviet air base in southern Somalia with a significant U.S. air and ground presence.
The new Danab forces are recruited and trained with tribal and clan considerations in mind, according to Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, AFRICOM commander.
“We’ve learned the importance of factoring in cultural and region-specific considerations,” Waldhauser said in a statement. “We work closely with our Somali partners ensuring the composition of specific Danab companies is appropriate for the security sector where they’ll be employed.”
When asked whether there was any concern that training and empowering local forces could reinforce warlord-like power structures when the U.S. departs the country, AFRICOM said there is no indication of “dual loyalties” among Danab troops.
AFRICOM, the Somali government and its various regional governments “go to great lengths to ensure the individuals selected for the Danab are clan- and region-appropriate,” Maj. Karl Wiest, an AFRICOM spokesman, told Military Times.
“At this time, the indications we’ve received on the ground are that the Somali people hold the Danab in the highest esteem as a result of these efforts,” Wiest said. “Ultimately, the Danab as a unit fall under the central Somali government and we have no indications of dual loyalty.”
Somali military forces are backed by the U.S., as well as the African Union Mission to Somalia.
Troops from this multi-national coalition have made inroads against al-Shabaab, a militant group the U.S. government said is tied to al-Qaida.
The group once controlled Mogadishu and large portions of the Somali countryside.
Operations against al-Shabaab are Somali-led, according to AFRICOM, and remain necessary. However, U.S. special operations forces do conduct advise-and-assist missions during at least some combat operations.
This approach is particularly evident in southern Somalia’s Jubaland region.
One U.S. soldier with 3rd Special Forces Group was killed and four other Americans were wounded in June during an attack consisting of mortar and small-arms fire from al-Shabab militants in Jubaland.
About 800 Somali and Kenyan forces, with advice, assistance and aerial surveillance from U.S. troops, were conducting a multi-day operation when the attack occurred.
That operation was part of AFRICOM’s larger goal to push al-Shabaab out of populated areas in the region’s river valley and establish combat outposts to guard territory retaken from the terror group.
Officials have previously told Military Times that the U.S. footprint in Somalia hovers at about 500 troops.
The Pentagon is also increasingly relying on the 127 Echo program in Africa, which funds the use of units from other nations’ governments as “surrogate forces," according to Maj. Gen. James Hecker, vice director for operations from the joint staff.
The 127 Echo program "provides us viable surrogate forces designed to achieve U.S. [counterterrorism] objectives at relatively low cost in terms of resources and especially risk to our personnel,” Hecker said during a congressional testimony in early February.
The rarely talked about program allows Americans to retain operational control over partner forces, without necessarily accompanying them on missions.
<img src U.S. Army soldiers look out at Mogadishu, Somalia. (National Geographic/James Peterson)
Regardless, Danab units backed by the U.S. military aren’t enough to stabilize Somalia, according to EJ Hogendoorn, a former United Nations arms expert who now works for the International Crisis Group’s Africa program.
“U.S. drone strikes and Special Forces operations cannot defeat al-Shabaab, and 22,000 African Union forces cannot control or pacify an area the size of New Mexico,” Hogendoorn told Congress last March. “That is because al-Shabaab is a resilient foe. It has shifted from conventional to asymmetric warfare.”
Al-Shabaab also exploits local grievances with the national government’s corruption, nepotism and impunity from reprisal, according to Hogendoorn.
To defeat al-Shabaab, the U.S. needs to better manage local security partners, “and while there have been some improvements, it has not been enough,” he added.
“The Somali National Army, in particular, is poorly coordinated, is mistrusted by a number of important clans, and there is massive corruption that undermines morale and the ability to operate,” Hogendoorn said. “Small and specialized units, such as Danab, are not enough to take on al-Shabaab.”
The hope with the Danab troops is that they will eventually act as a source of future leadership for the entire Somali military, populating the ranks with experienced and disciplined leaders.
For instance, the U.S. Army has for the past two years taught courses to Danab troops that emphasized tracking equipment through paperwork and accountability, which will hopefully stymie corruption. The latest course in August also provided vehicles like forklifts, tractors and fuel trucks to the Danab troops, totaling roughly $6.5 million in heavy equipment.
Properly maintaining that equipment and knowing how to plan complex logistical operations will be important for Danab to maintain momentum against al-Shabaab without African Union or U.S. troops providing oversight.
Additionally, that’s knowledge that can trickle down through the regular Somali National Army.
"Troops from Somali’s Danab battalion spent 14 weeks training with the U.S. 10th Mountain division during logistical training in August 2018. (U.S. Army Africa)"
As it stands, though, the U.S. support to Somali forces appears to be pivotal in keeping the country from falling back into al-Shabaab’s hands.
In the near-term, the use of air power in the country has increased to provide a bulwark against the terrorist group.
In 2017, President Donald Trump issued a directive that designated portions of Somalia under al-Shabab’s control “area of active hostilities," loosening the reigns for airstrikes.
AFRICOM releases show 35 airstrikes occurred in 2017, another 47 were launched in 2018 and there have been an estimated 28 airstrikes so far this year.
An Amnesty International report released in March alleged both that U.S. airstrikes have caused more civilian casualties than previously recognized, and that AC-130 gunships are being used in Somalia.
AC-130 gunships are in high demand across the combatant commands. They are also typically used in conjunction with forward deployed U.S. troops for close-air support missions.
The U.S. denied the Amnesty International report’s allegations of civilian casualties, but would not outright deny the past or present use of AC-130s.
“Due to operational security, I cannot get into platform specifics, but I will say we have a range of capabilities at various locations in the region that allow us to carry out these airstrikes,” Col. Chris Karns, another AFRICOM spokesman, told Military Times.
I have a few observations which I will add later.
To me, this just sounds like the US and other western allies have failed to learn from past mistakes and regimes. How many times now has the US-trained local forces only for it to backfire (Mujahadeen) and/or fail as seen in Libya, and beginning to see in Afghanistan. The article even mentions how these local Somali forces rely heavily on US support, the same also still rings true in Afghanistan hence the whole reason for Op Toral on our part.
I'm not saying we should just give up and pull out of these countries but from my non-expert point of view, there needs to be a serious re-think of policy regarding the training and sustainability of these forces in shakey regimes. What this policy should be I have no idea but surely by now, mistakes must be learnt from.
Well as current reports from Somalia indicate airstrikes are the favoured action by the US involvement.
The major misleading headlines being the continual reference to the ‘Federal Government’ as if the ‘Government in Mogadishu controlled the whole of geographical Somalia. Not so.
There are a number of problems between Mogadishu and the various autonomous states which comprise the majority of geographical Somalia. Mogadishu being the recipient of financial and other aid which is supposed to be shared amongst the autonomous states. Currently talks are supposedly underway in Puntland between Mogadishu and all involved to settle these problems. Although yet again no agreements have so far been reached. Then again Mogadishu has a track record of reneging on many other agreements/accords they have sign in the past only to revoke the next day.
Much is made of the training of the Danab forces by a US sponsored Private Military Company who are responsible for the initial training before ‘being further groomed by US troops’! A rather unfortunate wording!
Operational control being held by the US military which in itself can cause problems within the 127 Echo Program. The presence of US forces on the ground provides what can be termed as legitimate targets for ISIS/Al Shabaab et el
How American Special Operators Gradually Returned to Somalia
A U.S. soldier was killed in the country this month for the first time in more than two decades. What was he doing there?
May 14, 2017
The death of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken and the wounding of two more U.S. troops in Somalia this month marked the first deadly engagement for American forces in the country since the Battle of Mogadishu of October 1993. The two events differ in notable respects, not least in their magnitude—the battle of October 3-4, 1993, resulted in 18 Americans killed and 79 wounded. But both operations reflect the adverse conditions that U.S. special-operations forces, and the United States more broadly, face in the world’s most dysfunctional states.
Perhaps the biggest problem being the lack of ‘boots on the ground’. This is a counter terrorist war in which taking and controlling the ground you hold is vitally important. This is also a ‘political war’ and not just about having military victories.
Airstrikes alone are not to be relied upon to win any counter terrorist war on its own. Bearing in mind that Somalia itself is about three times the size of the UK.
The Clans do cover large areas and family connections can be very interesting when you start finding who is related to whom and how the relationships work. Once friendships are made they last for life. Very much a ‘Hearts and Minds’ situation.
When it comes to learning from history the US is well behind the UK. Two conflicts that spring to mind that the US could learn from..
1 MALAYA/BORNEO. It was from Malaya that we get the term ‘Hearts and Minds’. To get a good picture of how this conflict was won I recommend the following;
The War of the Running Dogs. By Noel Barber. This covers the Malayan Emergency 1948 to 1960.
2 DHOFAR. Across the water from the Horn of Africa in Oman. On the ground very similar aspects to the situation in Somalia. I recommend the following as an informative read;
In The Service of the Sultan. By Ian Gardiner.
UK opens army training facility for Somali forces in South West State
June 9, 2019
The UK on Saturday (8th June) officially opened a training facility in Somalia for the Somali National Army (SNA), as the country readies to take up security responsibilities.
The British Embassy in Somalia announced that “the new centre will help develop Somali-led security forces and promote long-term stability and security in the country.”
The training facility is based in Baidoa, the capital of Bay region in southwestern Somalia.
Somalia has been dogged by an Islamist insurgency for over a decade, perpetrated by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab militant group. The terror group has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions of others.
With an unequipped and untrained security force, the international community moved into Somalia to help in the fight against terrorism. The UK, US and African Union have set up missions in Somalia.
With gains made in the fight against Al-Shabaab, various security agencies including the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) plan to systematically withdraw the troops from the Horn of African country.
The withdrawal of AMISOM troops is due to start in October this year, with the force expected to be fully out of the country by December 2020, handing over security responsibilities to the SNA.
Defeating Al-Shabaab is a key agenda of President Mohamed Abdullahi’s government, one he has expressed confidence he would achieve achieve by the end of his term in 2020.
Baidoa rather an interesting history of being overrun at times by Al Shabaab!
Somalia: What does the future hold for my country?
Jamal Osman, a Somali journalist, has watched his country be torn apart by civil war for three decades.
He thought that in Kismayo, a city in Jubbaland, southern Somalia, he had found a society which offered hope of an end to the cycle of violence.
But a horrific al-Shabab attack on the city's Madina Hotel in July 2019, which left 26 dead and 56 injured, shattered the fragile hope of lasting security in the region.
As part of Jamal's journey into Jubbaland, he meets alleged al-Shabab fighters in prison as well as a Jubbaland army unit made up of former al-Shabab members, now supporting the government.
Separate names with a comma.