Airstrikes, military occupations and the failure to realize the economic potential of the Horn of Africa
Pentagon bombing operations against the Horn of Africa state of Somalia have killed numerous people over the last several weeks under the guise of the United States “war on terrorism.”
On November 30 the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) reported that airstrikes were launched on al-Shabaab positions in Lebede killing nine people. (Reuters, Dec. 2)
Although Washington routinely claims these bombing operations only target so-called “terrorists” there is no way of verifying who is actually struck on the ground. Other damage such as the deaths of civilians and the dislocation of people in small towns and rural areas are never acknowledged by the military.
Official statements from AFRICOM indicate that there are approximately 500 soldiers stationed in Somalia. The actual numbers have increased since the ascendancy of the administration of President Donald Trump during 2017 as a part of his purported foreign policy aims of battling armed Islamist groups such as al-Shabaab.
Other AFRICOM reports suggest there have been 37 bombing operations inside this oil-rich Horn of Africa state over the course of 2018. Successive U.S. administrations have supported the federalized governance system which was installed under the tenure of former President George W. Bush, Jr., who founded AFRICOM in early 2008…
With the recent death of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, efforts were made by the corporate media acting on behalf of the ruling class to paint a picture of the 41sthead-of-state as a “statesman” and “consensus builder.” This could not be further from the actual truth of events during his one-term presidency from 1989 to 1993.
In addition to the unjustified Pentagon invasion of Panama in late 1989 and the massive bombing, ground invasion and imposition of draconian sanctions against Iraq in the first Gulf War, Bush also intervened in Somalia in December 1992 on the eve of his departure from the White House. Operation Restore Hope was ostensibly designed to provide relief for Somalian civilians on the brink of famine resulting from the collapse of the previous government of Mohamed Siad Barre in early 1991.
Nonetheless, the deployment of 12,000 U.S. Marines to Somalia by Bush was part and parcel of the desire to reassert the military prowess of the U.S. in the aftermath of its colossal defeats in Southeast Asia during the mid-1970s, Lebanon in 1983-84 and Southern Africa in the late 1980s, where the world’s leading imperialist state was forced to retreat after humiliating failures. The successor to Bush, President Bill Clinton, inherited the Somalian invasion where within a matter of months huge sections of the country rose in rebellion against the U.S. and U.N. occupations, leading to the deaths of thousands of Somalians and the loss of hundreds Pentagon and so-called peacekeeping soldiers during 1993-1994. The U.S. and the U.N were both forced to leave Somalia by 1994.
This did not sit well with Washington and some twelve years later the Pentagon began to bomb Somalia under the leadership of the-then President George W. Bush, Jr. By 2007, the U.S. had facilitated another invasion, this time utilizing the military forces of neighboring Ethiopia and later Kenya. AMISOM, an aggregation of troops from several regional states, was assembled, trained, armed and deployed as a mechanism to implement U.S. foreign policy in Somalia and the entire Horn of Africa. This same policy continued under President Barack Obama right through to the current administration of Trump who has altered the regulations guiding military involvement in Somalia to justify the deepening of the intervention utilizing commando units and airstrikes.
However, after decades of military involvement and political machinations the situation remains unstable. The Somalians only hope for sustainable peace and development lies within the national unity of its people absent of the tutelage of the U.S.