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been conducting counterterrorism operations inside Somalia .
The move , they say , would boost efficiency and the effectiveness of special operators , and allow for uninterrupted training periods with local partners .
The official said the decision taken by Trump to withdraw US troops from Somalia went against the advice of senior military leaders and since then al-Shabaab had only grown stronger .
This year , up to 17 incidents of explosive violence in Somalia attributed to Al Shabaab . Up to 113 civilians have been killed and 223 injured . Figures for soldiers and militants killed are not available .
Following the October 1993 `Black Hawk Down ’ shock , U . S . policymakers have favoured their troops staying out of Somalia .
Since then , Somalia has been called the “ overlooked theater in the U . S . counterterrorism campaign ” with only the occasional drone strikes and military advisors assisting Somali partner forces .
The Biden administration has had to walk a thin-rope between staying away even as the al-Shabaab threat and activities have grown since their troop exit in 2020 and their policy commitment to reduce global U . S . counterterrorism operations .
The administration has debated how to balance the threat posed by al-Shabaab against their commitment to end so-called “ Forever Wars .”
Not the best time
According to the New York Times , some officials say now is not the best time to return to Somalia and battle al-Shabaab which , some say , is at its strongest in years . But others say al-Shabaab strength is overhyped .
Some Somalia analysts are looking at getting a sort of political settlement with al-Shabaab , especially as the Federal Government of Somalia ( FGS ) cannot win the fight .
The Trump administration decided to withdraw U . S . forces from Somalia after failing to negotiate with the al-Shabaab in the way it did with the Taliban in Afghanistan .
Experts say that U . S . policy in Somalia should consider not only how to address any ongoing terrorist threat but also how best to stabilise the long-troubled country . But the U . S ’ s militarised approach appears unlikely to produce that outcome .
It is not clear how the Biden administration plans to re-engage . The U . S . military reportedly favoured deployment of more commandos to Somalia .
Experts say al-Shabaab too is gaining strength . They say , in Somalia ( and elsewhere in Africa ), the U . S . “ has been caught in an endless loop of strikes and counter-strikes and frustratingly slow capacity building ”. They say the U . S . strategy offers little prospect of decisively defeating the enemy or undermining its support . cover story
2008 :
The U . S . designates al-Shabaab a foreign terrorist organisation .
2010 : al-Shabaab bomb a World Cup viewing party at Kyadondo grounds in Kampala killing 74 and wounding 85 . American Omar Hammami produces recruitment videos for al-shabaab .
2011 :
U . S . forces capture Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame ; a coordinator between al- Shabaab and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula ( AQAP ).
2012 : al-Shabaab emir Ahmed Abdi Godane swears formal allegiance to al-Qaeda
2013 : al-Shabaab assaults Westgate Mall in upscale Nairobi in Kenya killing 67 and wounding 175 . The U . S . intensifies support to AMISOM , including conducting air strikes in what the Pentagon termed “ collective self-defense ” of its partners in Somalia . al-Shabaab adopts hit and run guerrilla tactics against AMISOM rather than attempting to defend territory .
2017 :
President Trump delegates greater authority to operational commanders to conduct strikes against a broader range of targets in Somalia . The U . S strikes more than doubled to 61 in 2019 and 49 in 2020 . Trump deployed additional advisors , up to 700 .
Early 2017 :
President Trump declares parts of Somalia an “ area of active hostilities ,” which meant that more relaxed war-zone targeting rules applied than had been the case under the Obama-era .
2016 :
Barack Obama administration designates al-Shabaab an “ associated force ” of al- Qaeda making room more extensive lethal operations against the group .
2017 :
Truck bombing in Mogadishu kills at least 587 people .
2015 :
al-Shabaab lay siege on Kenyan university , kill 147 people .
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