Even though Politifact confirmed as true Hillary Clinton’s assertion that the “US military footprint in Africa is nonexistent.” it seems no one told the US military which launched an operation in Somalia against Al-Shabaab on Monday. Al-Shabaab is a jihadist group based in Somalia that made an alliance with Al-Qaeda in 2012.
While a Pentagon spokesman confirmed the operation took place, details about the operation were withheld. One official, speaking off the record, did tell the New York Times that the operation targeted a “senior operative,” who was apparently killed with a drone strike.
The Pentagon and the State Department have been supporting a 22,000-member African force that has driven the Shabab from their former strongholds in Mogadishu, the capital, and other urban centers, and continues to battle the extremists in their mountain and desert redoubts.
The United States now has a total of about 100 Special Operations forces operating in different parts of the country, both in training-advisory roles and in an operational role. Most, if not all, of those forces are Navy SEALS.
No footprint? It would appear the US has quite an interest and has made a substantial investment. And is this yet another military operation overseas justified under ye old 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force? Is there anywhere in the world the US can not attack under that provision?
Unlike Syria and Iraq it appears with operations in Yemen and Somalia the US can attack at will with little public discussion. The Obama Administration even claims to have the authority to kill US citizens in these places without due process. So let’s just keep killing people without a debate on the mission or an exit strategy, what could go wrong?