Effectiveness of U.S. Airstrikes in Somalia Questioned by AFRICOM Commander by John Vandiver – Stars & Stripes
The U.S. military’s airstrike campaign in Somalia won’t be enough to defeat Islamic militants in the country, where indigenous forces need to “step up” the fight, the commander for U.S. Africa Command said Thursday.
“At the end of the day, these strikes aren’t going to defeat al-Shabab,” AFRICOM’s Gen. Thomas Waldhauser said during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
AFRICOM has picked up the pace of its airstrikes in the country, going from 35 in 2017 to 47 last year. The strikes are “causing problems” for al-Shabab, but Somalia’s own military needs to grow in size and effectiveness to counter the militant group, Waldhauser said.
Still, the Marine general conceded it was “an open question” about how much the strikes are deterring al-Shabab aggression…