Big development that you probably haven’t heard

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.”


  1. Left Norfolk a week ago. Should be at Rota by now (or soon). If they do a straight run to Suez then they could in-chop CENTCOM this time next week (Suez). Two Days to Djibuti and then AOR briefs. Potential earliest operational off Somalia 10-12 Days…

  2. I’m guessing it’s Iraq for this group of Devil Dogs. As they are already on a deployment, our COngressional leaders cannot mess with their funding as they will with any additional troops Bush tries to deploy.

  3. ‘They have the know-how and the right equipment to capture these people,’ , hmmm. Is that defining ‘capture’ as ‘find them and convert them to mulch’?

  4. DJ & Bram: I’m certainly not predicting that the MSOC unit will be going to Somalia. I’m just pointing out an interesting coincidence in timing. Still, it’s nice to know that sometimes coincidences hit at times when you have some options. Firehand: Well, photographs can be used to ‘capture for posterity’. Maybe that’s what they mean. Photographs. Of body parts. Mike: Though I must remain skeptical that we’re really and truly on the best ‘course to win’, I will be the first to point out that much of what we’re doing supports things we need to do next. Almost like it’s on purpose or something. Someone was giving me all sorts of crap about how Bush was so stupid for ignoring Iran and how he had been taken by surprise because he was so focused on Iraq. If he hadn’t screwed up so bad in Iraq and Afghanistan we’d be in position to do something about Iran. When I pointed out that we had Iran 75% surrounded because of Iraq and Afghanistan, with readily accessible sea approaches, land approaches, and overflight rights, she told me that it was just because Bush was the luckiest SOB alive.

  5. No idea where the 26th MEU is going, but Somalia sounds like a good destination. The 15th MEU is still in Iraq, but all bets are off with the surge. I am glad to see that young Aideed is still in a position of power, as a former Corporal of Marines, he is someone we should cultivate a relationship with.

  6. Its a different spelling, but these things can change depending on the reporting. Is this the same Aided fellow who was a Marine in Somalia while his father was causing trouble in Mogadishu, only to come back and take over for him after he was killed? The same man who we were trying to capture when things went all to hell in the infamous BlackHawk Down saga?

  7. It’s coming full circle. When we left Somalia with our tails tucked, that was the birth place of the 9/11 attack. It doesn’t seem to me we’ve learned any lessons since then. We still fight like pussies. Well, at least the AC-130 is a man’s weapon. Maybe there’s a little hope.