Biden expands US military intervention in Somalia


On Monday, President Biden approved an order to send hundreds of American troops to Somalia. It is an expansion of the American military presence throughout Africa, which fuels violence and repression of Africans.

Biden says the hundreds of troops will not be engaged in direct combat, but will train Somali forces to fight al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-affiliated organization with members across North Africa. Various US-trained African military leaders have led coups in their countries and brutally suppressed anti-coup protesters.

US military operations in Somalia and the Horn of Africa should also be understood as a means of extending US influence in the region, which is of geopolitical importance. Due to its position between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, it is important for capitalist trade. Proxy control of Somalia would give the United States privileged access to the five international trade ports.

While Biden says he is expanding military presence in Africa because he is concerned about terrorism, the US military presence throughout Africa has fueled even more terrorism. According to the Pentagon itself to researchthe activity of militant Islamic groups almost doubled from 2012 to 2019, a period that also saw one of the fastest growing US military operations in Africa. In addition to fueling reactionary political violence, the US military directly harms the people of Africa, particularly through the drone program that Biden has also used in Somalia.

As the pandemic, disruptions in food production from war in Ukraine, climate change and additional crises of capitalism create devastating conditions across Africa, it is essential that the working class and oppressed communities across Africa are building independent power within their countries. It is a more difficult task because American imperialism is taking advantage of the instability it has helped to create to further consolidate its power and subjugate the countries of the South.

The working class and oppressed communities in the United States have a responsibility not only to denounce American imperialism in all its forms, but also to build the power of the working class to defund the Pentagon and demand an end to the American presence in Africa. This is how we can show our solidarity with the Somali people.

Sam Carliner

Sam Carliner is a socialist with a background in journalism. He writes primarily for Left Voice on US imperialism. He also tweets about imperialism as @saminthecan.

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