I also want to mention that Petraeus was the one that signed off on US military covert operations in Somalia. So if we have guys there right now, then a really excellent thing they could do to stop the bleeding is to gain a foothold on the payment and management of these Somali troops. We spent the money to train them in Ethiopia, we can certainly watch over the payment of their services in Somalia. I compare this to our handling of the HTN contracts in Afghanistan that are causing so many headaches. We must insure there is adult supervision with this stuff.
Or, we should just allow the TFG to crumble, and let Al Shabab to take over. Because as it stands right now, Al Shabab has momentum and they are closing in fast. And as they conquer and absorb these other Islamic extremist groups, the people will see this strength and bow down to this Islamic force. How could they not, if the TFG can’t even do the simple task of paying their troops? (and that’s after we gave them the money to pay their troops with) This is basic Governance 101.
I guess what I am saying is that Al Shabab, and in a larger sense Al Qaeda, is on the verge of a ‘win’ in Somalia. Can we afford this, and especially with what is going on in Afghanistan, or with the victory we are claiming in Iraq? Momentum is quite a thing, and if you give an enemy ground, they will now have something to promote their effectiveness with. Hell, if we want to give General McChrystal a way to redeem himself, I say let the ‘industrial death machine of Iraq’ have a go in Somalia? Don’t put him charge of AFRICOM, but definitely put him in charge of some kind of project he can focus his talents on. Somalia needs that kind of talent and attention, or we will lose it. -Matt