The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Biden Administration Accelerating War in Somalia

Jun 6, 2022

On May 16, the New York Times reported that the Biden administration is sending several hundred U.S. troops back into the African country of Somalia and expanding the bombing of that country. While officials acknowledged the decision, there was not even an official announcement of this rekindling of a 15-year U.S. war!

In the summer of 2006, a coalition of Somalis organized in a broad Islamic umbrella group finally seemed to have ended that country’s decades-long civil war when they kicked out CIA-backed warlords from the capital, Mogadishu. But six months later, the U.S. backed an Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. This pushed Somalia back into a civil war, from which it has yet to emerge.

Just as the U.S. invasion of Iraq produced a cycle of radicalization that eventually led to the Islamist fundamentalist group ISIS, so the U.S.-backed war in Somalia produced the Islamist fundamentalist group al-Shabaab. In 2008, the U.S. designated al-Shabaab a “foreign terrorist group,” at which point U.S. air forces, drones, mercenary groups, and special forces began directly fighting in Somalia. They have continued to this day. Because few U.S. troops have been killed, this war has stayed out of the headlines—but thousands of Somalis have been killed, and their impoverished country has been further destroyed.

And while the U.S. is promising to spend countless billions more dollars accelerating destruction in Somalia, the population is facing a humanitarian catastrophe. The country is experiencing a severe drought, reducing local food production, as global food prices are skyrocketing. According to the U.N., six million Somalis or 40% of the population are facing severe food insecurity, at risk of sliding into absolute famine. But the relief agencies don’t have the money to respond effectively.

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization representative in Somalia, “the funding we need to respond to a crisis of this magnitude has simply not come.” So, endless billions for war—but not even the pennies needed to feed starving people. This is the continuing U.S. policy in Somalia.