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Old 02-02-2010   #41
davidbfpo
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Default Somalia has not gone away, just emptying

We and the media focus on the piracy off the Somalia coast, no doubt as it is safer to report on and few reporters venture into Somalia today. Here is an exception a grim report on the people trapped there and seeking to leave - for the "settled" north aka as Somaliland and beyond. Now if this could be used in Info Ops against Al-Shabaab on You Tube plus - to show what their rule means I would applaud.

The link:http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010...litia-refugees - with a six minute video (yes not guaranteed to be viewable).
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Old 02-02-2010   #42
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Default Somalia: not piracy catch all thread

Moderators Note

I have combined several small threads on non-piracy aspects of Somalia just as it makes sense.
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Old 02-08-2010   #43
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Default Al-Shabaab -v- Kenya

A report from a forgotten frontier Kenya with Somalia:
http://allafrica.com/stories/201002080323.html

Quote:
The Islamic administration of Al-Shabaab that controls Somalia's southern regions of Jubba has on Sunday declared holy war on Kenya over reports that Nairobi is training Somali troops.
IIRC the Northern Frontier District of Kenya is mainly Somali and nomadic cattle-driven economy, rather prone to disputes and poor. See this thin entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_E...rovince_(Kenya)

Who are Kenya's allies? The "Usual Suspects" the UK and USA.

Watch and wait to see if rhetoric is matched with actions.
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Old 03-01-2010   #44
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Default Al-Shabaab say no to UN food

I trust someone will use this apparent decision by Al-Shabaab to bar UN food supplies to Somalia as an illustration of the care for the masses Al-Shabaab shows.

The report:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...ss_world/wires

Quote:
On Sunday, al-Shabab said it would prohibit the U.N.'s World Food Program from distributing food in areas under its control because it says the food undercuts farmers selling recently harvested crops.

It also accused the agency of handing out food unfit for human consumption and of secretly supporting "apostates," or those who have renounced Islam.
I wonder how much local food is being produced and from faraway will it be enough?
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Old 03-02-2010   #45
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Default Land piracy grabs UN food trucks

Self-explanatory and occurred in Puntland (from a large scale map):http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8545485.stm

Quote:
New land tactics being employed by Somali pirates may be a cause for concern, a UN spokesman told the BBC. Peter Smerdon said three trucks and their drivers were being held in the pirate town of Eyl after delivering food aid last week in central Somalia.
No wonder Somalis want to exit and WFP has problems getting funding. Will Somalia be the first country to have no people?
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Old 04-01-2010   #46
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Default Somalia: not piracy catch all thread

AEI Somalia Online Briefing

From SWJ Blog (with fuller details)

Via E-mail: Please join American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar, and Director of the Critical Threats Project, Frederick W. Kagan on Monday, April 5, 2010 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm for a live online video briefing on the terror threat from Somalia. Also contributing to the discussion will be Critical Threats Analyst Christopher Harnisch who will discuss the Somali terror group al Shabaab.

While American efforts to combat international terrorism continue to focus on the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, other regions have become safe havens for militant Islamist groups. This terror threat became a reality when an operative of an al Qaeda franchise based in Yemen tried to blow up a Detroit-bound plane with nearly three hundred people on board, on Christmas Day 2009.

Today, a terror threat is growing in Somalia, across from Yemen on the Gulf of Aden. A militant Islamist group called al Shabaab (resembling a hybrid of al Qaeda and the Taliban) has explicitly threatened to attack the United States. This terror group has established radical Islamist administrations that govern large parts of southern Somalia – more territory than any other militant Islamist group in the world. It operates terrorist training camps, views itself as part of the global jihad led by Osama bin Laden, has dozens of operatives from the United States and Europe, and has followed through on previous threats made against Somali targets. The threat posed by al Shabaab is real and imminent, and Americans should not be surprised if the group tries to attack the U.S.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-01-2010 at 11:40 PM. Reason: Copied here for continuity
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Old 05-25-2010   #47
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BERLIN — A private security firm's plan to deploy more than 100 German ex-soldiers to Somalia to work for a warlord has triggered intense media coverage and was harshly criticized by lawmakers on Tuesday, some of them calling it a possible violation of U.N. sanctions against the war-ridden East African country.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...C6aFwD9FTTBR81

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Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-25-2010 at 10:53 PM. Reason: Copied here from another general Africa thread.
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Old 06-23-2010   #48
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Default CFR report Somalia - A new approach

I would be interested in what the rest of you think.
It is very close to my position, which is not always quite how other council members see things.

Somalia - A new approach by Bronwyn Bruton
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Old 06-23-2010   #49
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Default I'm not a CFR fan but I do agree with that

monograph. The American penchant for 'fixing' things is not at all helpful in many cases...
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Old 07-11-2010   #50
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Finally! A punitive strike aimed at dealing with the piracy problem. But I fear there will be no follow through and eventually a "hearts and minds" argument will be made by someone in power resulting in a large-scale humanitarian/nation-building/stability operation.

Given the extremely low opinion Somalis have for Americans after it has been wrongly interpreted by many Somali citizens that the US government supported the Ethiopian seizure of Mogadishu in 2008 (which eventually helped to solidify Al Shabab as a major player there), I think any major operation in Somalia should be pretty easy (can one be sarcastic in a blog post?)

Yours

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Old 07-12-2010   #51
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Default In case you missed it...

Quote:
New al-Qaida threat: Somali group claims blasts

KAMPALA, Uganda – East Africa saw the emergence of a new international terrorist group Monday, as Somalia's most dangerous al-Qaida-linked militia claimed responsibility for the twin bombings in Uganda that killed 74 people during the World Cup.
The claim by al-Shabab, whose fighters are trained by militant veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, resets the security equation in East Africa and has broader implications worldwide. The group in the past has recruited Somali-Americans to carry out suicide bombings in Mogadishu.
Also, a Current TV documentary on US-born Al-shaba commander Omar Hammami... Vanguard
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Old 07-13-2010   #52
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Default Interesting attack by Al Shabab

JarodParker,

This is a very interesting development and I am afraid one that might eventually lead to a large-scale military intervention. The fear for a while now has been that Al Shabab would begin operations outside of Somalia. Kenya was the most likely target according to experts but the Uganda attack makes a lot of sense given the number of troops from Uganda intervening in Somalia.

I am growing increasingly worried that this or a number of other triggers are developing that will prompt a president to intervene again in Somalia. Please note I am not advocating sitting on our hands in the Somalia case. My fear revolves around the proclivity for the response to be pre-ordained as a large-scale coin or stability operation. There are other options which need to be considered, and in my opinion, implemented first.

Cheers

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Old 07-15-2010   #53
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Hey DC,

I doubt the US (or any other western nation) will undertake a large scale military intervention in Somalia due to the lack of national will, the strain our military is currently under and the cost associated with such operations. Not to mention the incident from 1993. Ethiopia would probably be the most ideal target for AS since the government there isn’t too shy about antagonizing them. Even one of the locations of Sunday’s attack in Uganda was an Ethiopian restaurant. But I guess the regime in Addis has the country locked down pretty tight (fingers crossed) for the terrorist resort to bombing softer targets elsewhere.

Anything that resembles large scale coin (ala OIF and OEF) doesn’t seem very likely to me. Instead, I see the US operating through proxies and orchestrating other activities that don’t require actual American boots on the ground. For instance, providing assistance to the “Somali government,” funding CT programs in neighboring countries, training frontier corps, police and military units in neighboring countries, patrolling the coast, etc. Maybe once in a while a HVT snatch like the one that took place a few months ago. For now this is Africa’s problem and as you suggested there are definitely options other than Operation Somali Freedom. Hopefully these options don’t end up propping evil regimes as well as making us new enemies.

Just my $.02
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Old 07-22-2010   #54
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In something of a warning to all wannabe online mujahedeen, a 20-year-old student from northern Virginia was arrested today on charges of providing material support to al-Shabaab, the al-Qaida-aligned Somali extremist group.

Zachary Adam Chesser is the guy’s given name. But he went by several others: Abu Talhah, Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee. But Chesser’s highest profile appears to be online, where his sobriquets included TeachLearnFightDie and AlQuranWaAlaHadith. He posted on an apparently defunct blog called Themujahidblog.com and Revolutionmuslim.com, according to the affidavit of FBI Special Agent Mary Brandt Kinder, and he threatened the lives of the South Park creators for their portrayal of the prophet Mohammed. Searches for his uploaded videos led to the discovery of him getting pwned by one of the Jawa Report guys. (More on that below.)
Read More http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010...#ixzz0uMjzds6f
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Old 07-22-2010   #55
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^ Interesting! We'll see if the charges stick?

Discussion of Somalia and Al-Shabab on last Sunday's Fareed Zakaria program. Skip to the 4:30min mark. Link

More on the model central Somali town covered by Gettleman - Adado
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Old 07-22-2010   #56
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Does anyone have any info on the somali army training by EU?
The attacks in Kampala may put an early end to such things. But it will certainly not generate a large scale western military intervention.
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Old 07-23-2010   #57
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Default Guards for Somali Leader Join Islamists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
It doesn't help, of course, that not all of the TFG troops are sure what side they are on, or necessarily care!
As I was saying....

Quote:
Guards for Somali Leader Join Islamists

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN and MOHAMED IBRAHIM
New York Times, 22 July 2010

NAIROBI, Kenya — Somali officials acknowledged on Thursday that members of Somalia’s presidential guard had defected to the Shabab, the radical Islamist insurgent group that claimed responsibility for the recent bombings in Uganda that killed more than 70 people watching the final game of the World Cup.

The defection of some of the president’s best-trained men is the latest setback for Somalia’s beleaguered transitional government, which has lost important pieces of territory in the past few days. Insurgents are now 300 yards — a rifle shot away — from the presidential palace.

...
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Old 07-23-2010   #58
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Default Guinea to send troops

Tks to FP:
Quote:
Guinea is ready to immediately deploy a battalion to Mogadishu to boost the troubled African Union peacekeeping force in the Somali capital, AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping said Friday.
Link:http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100723...tsomaliaunrest
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Old 07-25-2010   #59
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Default Fuelling Al Shabab?

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Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
Does anyone have any info on the somali army training by EU?
MA,

Not sure about the EU training mission, although my recollection was that something was underway in Kenya.

Perhaps this NYT op ed's following paragraph explains why external training is not the answer, indeed maybe the "fuel" for the crisis:
Quote:
Yet in the past 18 months, the international community has trained some 10,000 Somali soldiers to support this government, and American taxpayers have armed them. Seven or eight thousand of these troops have already deserted, taking their new guns with them. Indeed, Somalia’s Western-backed army is a significant source of Al Shabab’s weapons and ammunition, according to the United Nations Monitoring Group.
Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/op...=1&ref=opinion

Alongside is Aidan Hartley's column on the Al Shabab leader, he is always worth reading and concludes:
Quote:
What Mr. Roobow wants, as I witnessed on the road in Somalia, is a war against an alien enemy that will bring him international prestige and jihadi money before his group’s forces implode and his country’s people turn on him. The Uganda bombing is another reason the West has to find an intelligent diplomatic path out of Somalia’s crisis. A military backlash would give Mukhtar Roobow exactly the ammunition that he is looking for.
Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/op...ml?ref=opinion
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Old 07-31-2010   #60
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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
MA,

Not sure about the EU training mission, although my recollection was that something was underway in Kenya.

Perhaps this NYT op ed's following paragraph explains why external training is not the answer, indeed maybe the "fuel" for the crisis:

Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/op...=1&ref=opinion

Alongside is Aidan Hartley's column on the Al Shabab leader, he is always worth reading and concludes:

Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/op...ml?ref=opinion
Where are the drones when we need them? Rather have a few of them than another few thousand Ugandan troops.
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