Wednesday, September 23, 2009

United States Attack in Somalia

Last week the US military announced that it had killed Saleh Ali Nabhan, a 28-year old Kenyan of Yemeni descent and leader of al-Shabab, a group tied to al-Qaeda. The picture to the left, of Nabhan, is from The Guardian website.

Nabhan was alleged to have been involved in the Mombasa attacks in 2002. The Economist describes the US attack as follows:

"The American commandos flew in daylight in helicopters from a naval ship off Somalia's coast, attaching Mr. Nabhan and a score of other foreign and Somali fighters as they drove in two lorries across the desert."
The Economist goes on to say that American forces were "on the ground in Somalia, albeit briefly," but it does not explain the statement -- the prior description makes it sounds like the entire operation was carried out by ship and helicopter.

304. My understanding is that American officials opposed to increasing troop levels in Afghanistan argue that we could use these kinds of "targeted operations" against al-Qaeda there. Those opposed, however, say that the Clinton Administration was unsuccessful when it tried to fight al-Qaeda from afar. Who's got the better of this argument? Where do the current military leaders, including Petraeus and Mullen, stand?

305. If US forces were on the ground, what's the legal authority for the incursion? Is there still broad-based "war on terror" authority from the Bush Presidency, or has the Obama Administration asserted a different basis for attacks against al-Qaeda allies?

Here's a map of the Horn of Africa, from the Economist's website:

No comments:

Post a Comment