Somali leader asks for U.S. boots on the ground
I’ve been saying for some time that we’d have troops back in Somalia at some point in the not-too-distant future. I don’t know if that time is now, but it might be close:
Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Aided said Wednesday that U.S. special forces were needed on the ground as government forces backed by Ethiopia are unable to capture the last remaining hideouts of suspected extremists.
–They have the know-how and the right equipment to capture these people,” said Aided, a former U.S. Marine.
A senior Somali government official said a small U.S. team was already on the ground, providing military advice to Ethiopian and government forces.
In Washington, two senior Pentagon officials said Wednesday they had heard of no plans to put any sizable contingent of Americans on the ground in Somalia.
Small teams of liaison officers — such as special forces advisers or trainers — are another matter, they said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the subject.
I don’t expect “sizable” forces to be deployed. But a few more Special Forces types to help buck up the Ethiopians and Somalis, plus maybe a few more for some special things, might not be out of line.
Speaking of special things, we aren’t just sending in AC-130s and helicopter gunships to make attacks without American eyes on the target.
This is a World War, and its being fought in places that don’t make the news much. Which is just fine by those doing the fighting.
UPDATE: Incidentally: The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Begins Deployment:
In its capacity as a strategic reserve asset, the MEU is prepared to support operations on a variety of fronts in the Global War on Terrorism, including in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.
This broad-based mission is aligned with traditional MEU deployments in which Marines and Sailors are poised for conducting contingency operations from forward, sea-based locations.
The 26th MEU is deploying as the landing force for the Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group. In addition to USS Bataan (LHD-5), the strike group is comprised of the USS Oak Hill (LSD-51), USS Shreveport (LPD-12), USS Nitze (DDG-94), USS Vella Gulf (CG-72), USS Underwood (FFG-36) and USS Scranton (SSN-756).
Let’s see. What locations will the MEU be prepared to help cover? Iraq, Afghanistan, and where? Hmm.
“But Murdoc,” you may ask. “There’s nothing special about this MEU deployment, is there?”
“No,” I would reply. “Nothing special about it at all.”