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Biden Approves Plan to Redeploy Several Hundred Ground Forces Into Somalia

Added 05-16-22 01:40:04pm EST - “The president also signed off on targeting about a dozen Shabab leaders in the war-torn country, from which Donald J. Trump largely withdrew in his final weeks in office.” - Nytimes.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nytimes.com: “Biden Approves Plan to Redeploy Several Hundred Ground Forces Into Somalia”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The president also signed off on targeting about a dozen Shabab leaders in the war-torn country, from which Donald J. Trump largely withdrew in his final weeks in office.

WASHINGTON — President Biden has signed an order authorizing the military to once again deploy hundreds of Special Operations forces inside Somalia — largely reversing the decision by President Donald J. Trump to withdraw nearly all 700 ground troops who had been stationed there, according to four officials familiar with the matter.

In addition, Mr. Biden has approved a Pentagon request for standing authority to target about a dozen suspected leaders of Al Shabab, the Somali terrorist group that is affiliated with Al Qaeda, three of the officials said. Since Mr. Biden took office, airstrikes have largely been limited to those meant to defend partner forces facing an immediate threat.

Together, the decisions by Mr. Biden, described by the officials on the condition of anonymity, will revive an open-ended American counterterrorism operation that has amounted to a slow-burn war through three administrations. The move stands in contrast to his decision last year to pull American forces from Afghanistan, saying that “it is time to end the forever war.”

Mr. Biden signed off on the proposal by Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III in early May, officials said. In a statement, Adrienne Watson, the National Security Council spokeswoman, acknowledged the move, saying it would enable “a more effective fight against Al Shabab.”

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