Where Might is Right? US Strikes in Somalia Today

Editorial in The Australian, 9 March 2016, where[1] the title reads “US Flexes its Muscles”

The US air strikes in the war-ravaged African nation of Somalia that killed 150 al-Shabaab jihadists in a single day suggest the Obama administration has finally got the message that it needs to be more decisive in acting against terrorism wherever it occurs, not only in Iraq and Syria. The attacks on al-Shabaab coincided with details emerging of US special forces action in Afghanistan targeting the growing presence of Islamic State-aligned jihadist groups in Nangarhar province and in Tora Bora, the former Osama bin Laden stronghold near the frontier with Pakistan. Air strikes and surveillance have also been mounted against Islamic State jihadists massing amid the ungoverned chaos in Libya.[2] Those jihadists, reinforced by thousands of foreign recruits, are believed to control 250km of Libyan coastline, with easy access to Europe.

USS ROOSEVELTUSS Roosevelt … and killer drones KILLER DRONESAnd for the first time, despite Barack Obama’s reluctance to put American “boots on the ground” anywhere, the Pentagon is sending Special Operations advisers “to the front lines” of the oil-rich West African nation of Nigeria’s desperate battle against Boko Haram. The murderous Islamic State-aligned group is now the world’s deadliest terrorist outfit for killing civilians.

Such moves, long overdue, deserve universal support.[3] The need for Washington to make the running in establishing a global military footprint capable of intervening against Islamic terrorism is overwhelming. Mr Obama’s hesitancy appears to have been overtaken by the pressing need to deal strongly with the terrorist menace beyond Iraq and Syria. The al-Shabaab group, for instance, recently launched a suicide attack on a Turkish passenger airliner. Last year, it was responsible for the slaughter of 148 university students in Kenya and the killing of 67 people at a major shopping mall in Nairobi. Its potency was evident in the Royal Australian Navy’s announcement this week that HMAS Darwin, on a counter-terrorism patrol off Oman, has seized an arsenal of 2000 lethal assault weapons from an al-Shabaab supply ship.

As Mr Obama approaches the end of his time in the White House he has also turned his attention to North Korea, after getting nowhere for seven years in his efforts to curb the rogue nation’s nuclear program. In a major show of strength clearly aimed at Pyongyang as well as its supporters in Beijing, 317,000 US and South Korean troops are involved in massive military exercises that specifically include rehearsals of strikes on North Korea’s main nuclear and missile facilities and “decapitation raids” by Special Forces targeting the North Korean leadership. Predictably, Pyongyang is screaming blue murder and threatening nuclear retaliation; but Mr Obama, to his credit, is unmoved. He is showing the sort of ticker that has not always been apparent on the world stage but is sorely needed now. He is at least laying the groundwork for whoever succeeds him to take a stronger stand on global security.


Bowden, Mark 1999 Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, Signet Books.

Wertheim, Stephen 2010 “A Solution from Hell: The United States and the Rise of Humanitarian Interventionism, 1991–2003,” Journal of Genocide Research 2010, Vol 12, No. 3, pp. 149-72. …http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14623528.2010.522053


[1] The Australian is a conservative right-wing newspaper for the most part.

[2] Nota Bene: “the ungoverned chaos” in Libya!! What brought this about? RtoP interventions in that country. So what we have seen is a move from unbridled dictatorship to chaos!

[3] Caution! Caution! Read Stephen Wertheim: “A Solution from Hell: The United States and the Rise of Humanitarian Interventionism, 1991–2003,” Journal of Genocide Research 2010, Vol 12, No. 3, pp. 149-72. …http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14623528.2010.522053

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Filed under accountability, american imperialism, disparagement, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Islamic fundamentalism, law of armed conflict, military strategy, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, self-reflexivity, truth as casualty of war, violence of language, world events & processes

One response to “Where Might is Right? US Strikes in Somalia Today

  1. Very good, yes, the American actions against the DPRK are very dangerous
    and they are very naive if they think DPRK claims of being able to put
    nuclear bombs on the US mainland are just rhetoric.

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