Somalia borders Ethiopia to the west, Kenya to the southeast. In antiquity, it was a fundamental commerce center with other nations in the world. The Somali coastline stretches more than 2050 miles along the eastern part of Africa (Daniels, 2012). This makes it to be the longest and most beautiful region on the African continent. After the downfall of the central governing Authority in 1991, fishing vessels from various corners of the world started to set up their operations along the Somali coast since they were rich in nutrients. The Al Shabab is a terror outfit that attempted to overthrow the Transitional Federal Government has in the past participated in piracy along the Somali coastline. The Transitional Federal Government was the recognized government of Somalia until August 2012 when its tenure ended after the inauguration of the Federal Government of Somalia. Al-Shabab which means “The Youngsters” is a jihadist faction based in Somalia.
The U.S government asserts that the Al-Shabab pose a universal threat. There are various complaints that have been made against Al-Shabab, for instance, they attack aid workers, and they harshly enforce Sheria Law. The terror group has also persecuted Christian minority in Somalia. Al-Shabab has put temporary and in some cases sustained their control in strategic locations in the southern and central Somalia by conscripting regional sub-clans as well as their militias that use guerrilla lopsided warfare as well as terrorist method against the TFG, its allies, Nongovernemntal aid Organizations (NGO) and African Union (Fergusson, 2013).
Apparently, Al-Shabab is a terror group that has become very active in Somalia. The terror group has become active in parts of Somalia where the US as well as its cohorts – Kenya and Ethiopia – have been very active. Somalia is an example of US military policy gone amok. The war between US and Al-Shabab destabilized the country and at the same time helped to strengthen the Al Shabab that barely existed prior to US high-handed response to the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). In Afghanistan and Iraq years of war using high-tech drone did not result in victories since each of those dead noncombatants depicts an alienated family, a fresh desire for revenge as well as more recruits for the militia movement that has developed exponentially even after the increased drone strikes. It would be prudent if the Somalia government and US could declare a moratorium on drone strikes in Somalia. Kenya and Ethiopia border Somalia therefore they have interests in the war since when the war escalated they will have refugees trooping into their country therefore they are partners in implementing the effective irregular warfare campaign.
Logical Lines of operations
Ethiopia led its military campaign in Somalia so that it could oust the Al Shabab. After campaigning for two weeks the organizations capacity to control Mogadishu was considerably diminished prompting it to regroup in rural areas of Somalia. By the U.S addressing the deficit in commerce, trade as well as governance in Mogadishu and surrounding regions the U.S can give Somalis an alternative to the oppressive and harsh ideologies of Al Shabab. African troops require armored vehicles and helicopters so that they can counter Al Shabab. More troops are required and they should target three ports along the Somalia coast which is operated by the Al Shaba for illicit trade. The AMISOM is short of resources that will help to fight the terror group. AMISOM’s mandate has 12 helicopters however none has been contributed towards that mission that has about 17,700 troops mainly drawn from Burundi, Kenya and Uganda (Nebehay & Miles, 2013).
The Al Shabab is involved in illicit trade. The Elephant Action League (EAL) that has dubbed ivory “white gold of jihad” said that poaching of elephant and ivory trafficking is catapulting conflict in Africa since it helps Al Shabab to mount more deadly attacks. Al Shabab act as intermediaries and they file orders from agents in user nations such as Asia and Gulf states. The Al Shabab pay better compared to average prices therefore making them more desirable buyers of the illegal ivory from brokers. These small brokers are the ones who engage in poaching. Al Shabab spot as a premier broker, can be attributed to its organizational and financial prowess, But this is largely attributed to lack of readily available alternatives.
Kenyan and Ethiopian troops require more training as well as material support so that they can be able to control operations at the border and consequently counter terrorist activities. Intelligence sharing can be fundamental in facilitating successful operational planning as well as execution. Additionally, equipment support, for instance, Biometrics Automated Tool Set (BATS) for can be instrumental in border control.
Key to success
Unity and understanding the operational environment are two important things to the success of the campaign. AU troops are indigenous in the region and are familiar with various aspects that touch on the enemy, weather as well as terrain including social, cultural, economic as well as political dynamics relatively unfamiliar to the U.S troops. When the TFG and AU are united it will provide the basis for successful unity driven by the U.S experiences combined with its military muscle. The presence of NGO gives an additional means that will help it be a head of second and third order effects regarding IDP’s population and it can also be used as gauge to scale the ongoing U.S support.
- Daniels, C. (2012). Somalia piracy and terrorism in the horn of Africa. Lanham: Scarecrow
- Fergusson, J. (2013). The most dangerous place: Inside the outlaw stat of Somalia. New York:
- Nebehay, S & Miles, T (September, 2013). U.N. envoy for Somalia seeks more resources to
combat al Shabaab. Reuters. Retrieved on 26 Jan 2014 from