US leading offensive against Somalia
They’re at it again. The US is quietly leading a major military operation against the African country of Somalia.
Since last year, the US had been training and funding the ‘Transitional Federal Government'(TFG). Now, the US is planning an offensive in the country’s capital, Mogadishu, in hopes of countering the growing influence of the Islamic group, Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen (al-Shabaab).
In 2006, US-backed Ethiopian forces occupied the country’s capital to drive out the ruling Islamic Courts Union (ICU). The task proved too great and in 2009 Ethiopian forces withdrew. Al-Shabaab, a splinter from the ICU, has since made significant gains against the ‘internationally-recognized’ TFG. Despite the substantial backing the TFG receives from the US, al-Shabaab controls the south of the country and much of the capital.
The current offensive against Mogadishu is the first major operation to be headed by the United States Africa Command, or AFRICOM, since it was founded in 2007. However, the US has a long history of intervening in Somalia. In 1993, members of a US Special Forces team were killed, the bodies of some dragged through capital by a crowd. Most recently, in 2006 the US bombed Mogadishu as Ethiopian forces invaded the country.
The US says operations in Somalia are part of a ‘global counter-terrorism’ effort. An ‘imperialist offensive’ is more accurate.
US offensives in Somalia or anywhere else are part of a wider range of wars and conflicts, meant to reinforce US dominance around the world, including unfettered access to cheap raw materials. Sub-Saharan Africa is thought to be the center of the “next big oil-boom” and the “last real high-potential area in the world that hasn’t been fully explored.” Much of the untapped oil resides in the center of the continent, in Uganda and the Congo, and near the Horn of Africa, in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. Somalia may have 10 billion barrels in oil reserves but, due to instability, these reserves have yet to be tapped. It is the US’s intentions have as much control over this oil as possible. Overthrowing al-Shabaad’s rule and installing the TFG is all part of this plan.
Since Barakkk Obomber was elected president of the chief imperialist country, imperialist aggression has only increased. Troops remain in Iraq and have increased in Afghanistan. In the last year alone, the US has been exposed for drone bombings in Yemen and Pakistan, as well as covert operations elsewhere. Despite this, there has been no rise in anti-war, anti-militarist sentiment within the US. Anti-war marches have been at their lowest levels. For example, in the most recent ‘national march’ in Washington DC, attendance was estimated at 3,200-4,000 people (or .000013% of Amerikan citizens). Not only do Amerikans seem to think it’s OK when Obomber bombs people, some are even saying he should be more aggressive. Michael Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN, and several other conservatives have come out and publicly encouraged the US president to bomb Iran. Behind Obama and Amerika’s progressive veneer, we see the real debate: quietly bombing Third World people vs doing so in a big, highly-visible way. Regardless of which of these ‘policies’ Amerika chooses, it can only be a difference between the manner in which Amerika expands its wars in Africa and around the world.