Saturday March 18, 2023
A soldier surveys a camp for displaced people on the outskirts of Jubaland, Somalia, on March 14, 2022. SALLY HAYDEN / SOPA IMAGES/LIGHTROCKET VIA GETTY IMAGES
As U.S. counterterrorism efforts have waned in Yemen, Libya, and parts of Pakistan, Somalia has emerged as the most active element in the “forever wars” that the U.S. has waged since 9/11, according to Eric Schmitt of the New York Times. Schmitt traveled to Somalia in February for a rare embed with U.S. Special Operations forces on the ground in the midst of a recent offensive launched by the Somali government against a formidable enemy, Al Shabab.
Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Eric and his Times colleague Charlie Savage to discuss the conflict in the Horn of Africa and the extent of U.S. military involvement there. They discussed the roots of the Shabab insurgency, whether or not the current moment marks an inflection point in the fight, the legal grounds on which the U.S. government justifies its campaign, and why the American public and government alike should pay more attention to Somalia.