US General Favors More Aggressive Approach To Somalia

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  1. Mogadishu

    Mogadishu 2nd Lieutenant

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    By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Vowing he won't turn Somalia into a "free fire zone," the commander of U.S. Africa Command said Friday he wants greater authority to conduct airstrikes and use military forces in the African country to allow the U.S. to strike al-Qaida-linked militants more quickly.

    Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser said the White House hasn't yet approved the request. But he told reporters at the Pentagon the greater flexibility would help U.S. and Somali fighters combat al-Shabab extremists.

    Last month, The Associated Press reported that senior defense leaders recommended the expanded authorities to the White House. The proposed changes would allow U.S. special operations forces to increase assistance to the Somali National Army, even if that puts U.S. forces closer to the fight.

    "It's very important and very helpful for us to have little more flexibility, a little bit more timeliness, in terms of decision-making process," Waldhauser said, saying the increased authorities would give the U.S. greater ability to strike al-Shabab and weaken the group.

    The military would act appropriately, he said, adding, "We're not going to turn Somalia into a free fire zone."

    Al-Shabab was blamed for a suicide bombing that blew a hole in a jetliner last year, forcing it to make an emergency landing in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. Officials have cited the incident in recent days as an example of a laptop-borne bomb after the U.S. barred computers and tablets from the cabins of some incoming flights from overseas. The bomber was the only person killed in the explosion.

    Separately, Waldhauser declared the hunt for warlord Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, largely over. He said possibly thousands of Kony's fighters and most of his top lieutenants are now off the battlefield, leaving the leader "irrelevant" and in survival mode. He said the U.S. would help the region guard against an LRA resurgence.

    On Somalia, Waldhauser dismissed suggestions that his request could lead to more civilian casualties in the struggling nation, where a devastating famine has uprooted citizens around the country. The military, he said, has already discussed and "war-gamed" the issue because so many people are moving around the battlefield in search of food and water.

    Under current rules, U.S. troops in Somalia are largely restricted to defensive military measures.

    U.S. forces can transport and accompany local troops. But they must keep their distance from front lines and can only engage the enemy if they come under attack or if Somali forces are in danger of being defeated. Currently, Waldhauser added, armed drones can launch defensive airstrikes if U.S. or partner troops come under attack.

    His proposal would allow the U.S. to conduct offensive airstrikes and allow American forces to move along with Somali troops into the fight when needed, based on what commanders decide.

    Military commanders complained that during the Obama administration they had to seek White House permission for many tactical combat moves.

    Waldhauser said Friday the proposed changes would streamline decision-making, moving it to the combatant commander level. He and other high-level commanders, he said, are capable of such decisions.

    Waldhauser also cited progress in Libya. He said the number of Islamic State fighters there is down to about 100-200 after they were routed from the city of Sirte last year. IS is trying to maintain a presence in Libya but doesn't appear to be seeking to gain territory, he said.

    The U.S. has long operated out of Djibouti and Waldhauser said no new base in Africa is being built. He said the U.S. is using a base in Tunisia to launch drones and will eventually use one in Niger for intelligence gathering. Work isn't finished at the Niger base, so there haven't been any flights out of there, he said.

    Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribute
     
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  2. Mogadishu

    Mogadishu 2nd Lieutenant

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    This is good Strategy but for a long term success of anti-Violent islamist groups Like Shababb terror,US need to incease its support for the Somali National army so that they can do the job of fighting these terrorists all on their own.
     
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  3. Mogadishu

    Mogadishu 2nd Lieutenant

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    Trump grants U.S. military more authority to attack militants in Somalia

    The White House has granted the U.S. military broader authority to carry out strikes in Somalia against al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants, the Pentagon said on Thursday, the latest sign President Donald Trump is increasing U.S. military engagement in the region.

    Last Friday, the head of U.S. forces in Africa said that greater ability to fight the militants would lead to more flexibility and quicker targeting.

    Al Shabaab has been able to carry out deadly bombings despite losing most of its territory to African Union peacekeepers supporting the Somali government. The group's insurgency aims to drive out the peacekeepers, topple Somalia's western-backed government and impose its strict version of Islam on the Horn of Africa state.

    The United States has a small presence in Somalia and is allowed to carry out strikes in defense of partnered forces.

    Two U.S. defense officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said parts of Somalia had been declared an "area of active hostilities" for at least 180 days by the White House on Wednesday night. The capital of Mogadishu was not included.

    This broader authority would allow the United States to carry out offensive strikes against al Shabaab militants even if the militants were not attacking partnered forces, the officials said. They said rules to avoid civilian casualties would not be loosened.

    In a statement, the Pentagon said Trump had approved a request for "additional precision fired in support of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces."

    "The additional support provided by this authority will help deny al-Shabaab safe havens from which it could attack U.S. citizens or U.S. interests in the region," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said in the statement.

    ALSO IN WORLD NEWS

    The decision mirrors one the White House made in January when it declared parts of three provinces in Yemen an "area of active hostilities," allowing the military greater flexibility to target al Qaeda militants there
     
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  4. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

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    There is a large concern over the Somali American community in the U.S. and the potential for extremists to emerge from that community. If the U.S. military can take out more militants then they can hurt their ability to recruit terrorists in the U.S. and coordinate them.
     
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  5. Mogadishu

    Mogadishu 2nd Lieutenant

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    Looks like US is increasing its partnership with the somali authorities to stabilize somalia and combat violent extremists.






    Ps
    i like the name Waldhauser .lol


    http://www.africom.mil/media-room/a...tf-hoa-commanders-meet-with-somalia-president


    AFRICOM COMMANDER US Marine Corps Gen. Thomas D.Walhauser met with President of Somalia.
    CJTF-HOA Commander Was Also Present and ofcourse US.AMBASSADOR TO Somalia.



    Mogadishu Somalia.
    30/4/2017
    Newly-appointed Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) commander U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. David J. Furness and the CJTF-HOA Command Senior Enlisted Leader U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin J. Higginbotham joined the U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) commander U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser for a series of meetings regarding East African security here Saturday.

    Having just assumed their leadership positions at CJTF-HOA the previous day, Furness and Higginbotham quickly began covering ground on critical security issues in East Africa.

    “There is no question that Al-Shabaab has brought great turmoil and has committed extreme atrocities in East Africa, and particularly in Somalia,” said Furness. “But we are committed to working with partner nations to help Somalia stand strong against this violent extremist organization, and assist with the international and intergovernmental efforts to bring back security and stability to this very important region."

    This visit to Mogadishu International Airport solidified a commitment to assist African regional partners strengthen their own security through the following measures: countering transnational threats, promoting regional stability through defense capabilities and protection of U.S. assets.

    Their foundational forum took place with President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known by his nickname “Farmajo,” and the Somali National Army Chief of Defense.

    “This was a very productive visit,” stated Furness. “It was a chance to meet the country's leadership and reaffirm the strong ties we have with President Farmajo and the great people of Somalia.”

    Afterward, the U.S. leaders met with regional intelligence collection agencies and the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia Ambassador Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, to discuss current events. This meeting comes little more than a week after the first U.S. Africa Command Chiefs of Defense (CHoD) conference held in Stuttgart, Germany, which had a focus on countering violent extremist organizations (VEOs.)

    “The first and top priority of the AFRICOM Theater Campaign Plan is to neutralize Al-Shabaab and transition the African Union Mission to Somalia,” Furness said. “AMISOM has done yeoman's work to stabilize Somalia over the last 10 years, and they can be proud of their efforts.”

    With AMISOM scheduled to withdraw forces over a 24-month period beginning in October 2018, President Farmajo is slated to present a new national security architecture at the London Summit in May. Furness expressed that he is hopeful the plan laying out Somalia’s armed forces structure will integrate well with U.S. efforts to train, advise and assist Somali security forces.

    “With this close partnership, I think the government of Somalia will make a real difference in isolating Al-Shabaab, eradicating hardliners and reconciling those who are open to becoming productive members of society," said Furness.

    According to a story posted on the U.S. AFRICOM website on April 21 about the African CHoD conference, Madeira was quoted as saying, “Peace and security in Somalia is the goal…We must strengthen the Somalia National Security Force.”

    “Let’s resolve to remove Al-Shabaab from the remaining towns and villages,” said Madeira.

    AFRICOM and its subcomponent CJTF-HOA assist African states in strengthening their defense capabilities and mitigate security threats more effectively. Primarily, this is achieved through military-to-military engagements, programs, exercises and operations coordinated with the Department of State and African partner nations.

    The CJTF-HOA is a tenant unit on Camp Lemonnier – the only U.S. military base on the continent. The task force, operating since 2002, achieves its mission by building and reinforcing partnerships that contribute to the security and stability of East Africa.

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  6. Mogadishu

    Mogadishu 2nd Lieutenant

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    100% agree.
    US should partner up with the Somali Authorities based in Mogadishu on issues of mutual interest including piracy reduction.Somalia is located in an region where 80% of cargo shipping from Europe pass through.a stable somalia can play a key permanent role in eradicating piracy in those regions and ensure the safety of these routes.
    we are looking forward for meaningful partnerships with US on many different issues.


    somalia can not be left to be used as as terrorist haven,pirate infested country,a stable somalia will make these issues a non-starter.

    we ,somalis,are grateful for the help America has provided and continues to provide for somalis in tough times.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
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