TFG must lead the command and control of the operation in order to prevent collateral damages by gathering intelligence surveillance, reconnaissance, precision targeting and analyzing intelligence on the ground. Kenyan military have heavily relied on air-bombardment to fight Al-Shabaab, hence Somali army officers are the logical choice to assume ground command. Apparently, it may not
possess the command structure and capabilities necessary to plan and execute complex operations, but such operations have its challenges as well, both in conception and in execution. It must examine and learn from these challenges in the same token swiftly respond to cease indiscriminate bombardment in the IDP camps and concentrated areas. Kenyan air force clearly lacked the knowledge and expertise to provide correct targeting information, if not adopting and shaping new strategic concept of “upgrading front-line countries (Ethiopia, Kenya) while downgrading Somalia into fiefdom of provinces”. AMISOM can continue to invest in their military capabilities and capacity under Somalia’s multinational-program of counterinsurgency which means investment in defense. If defense spending continues to decline or dry up, TFG will not be able to sustain success, therefore it must engage locals to have this undertaking less expense and fewer damages.
When making decisions that can have an enormous impact on people’s lives, it must listen to those closes to the issues. Currently, all inclusive and sustainable peace depends on shifting from top-down TFG approach, rather bottom-up approach to one that engages council of elders involvement in such areas, bringing tribal leaders back to pro-government camps pledging to oppose extremism. Properly trained and equipped, civilians are force multipliers, which in return provide people the tools to initiate life saving approach. TFG should engage dual phase solution, one with use of military force against these extremists; on the other hand, it must mend a program of practical cooperation and political dialogue with them across these regions. Information is power, revealing mistakes and addressing critics are difficult, and hence it will ultimately make counterterrorism mission (against Al-Shabab) more effective. If TFG wants to garner and retain its military influence, it will have to tolerate more risks and sacrifices that go along with them.
Prof. Liban A Egal is a professor at George Mason University's Engineering Dept. Prof. Liban serves as Senior Political and National Security Analyst at Terror Free Somalia Foundation
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