Sunday, January 10, 2010

U.S. Military Action in Yemen and Somalia?

President Obama says it is not in the cards. In a recent interview the president says that he prefers a strategy of international cooperation to control rising terrorism concerns in both Yemen and Somalia.

What "international cooperation" means here is fairly unclear. The U.S. is apparently giving $70 million in aid to Yemen to help fight the terrorist problem there. We were supplying Somalia with aid as well until that was severely curtailed by fears that the aid was ending up in the hands of al Shabab, the major terrorist organization in Somalia. Giving money to countries like Yemen and Somalia is not something that inspires a lot of confidence. We gave a lot of money and weapons to Afghanistan a few years back and look what happened. Of course, at this stage in the game I wouldn't expect much more information as to what the actual plan is to dealing with Yemen and Somalia. The U.S. doesn't have the public will or economic juice to engage in another major military campaign/nation building endeavor. To be honest, I'd be interested to see what kind of effect a U.S. special operations campaign would have on disrupting the emerging terrorist networks in Yemen or Somalia. This kind of campaign would be much more easily implemented in Somalia given the utter lack of a real central government to voice its displeasure at American presence. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I want to see American soldiers sent into harm's way again, but if we were to start military operations in either country this may be an option.

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