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America’s Other Other Other Other War: Somalia

So much time is spend talking about our military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, our drone operations in Pakistan and Yemen, and the possibility of airstrikes in Syria that the fact that we are getting more militarily involved in Somalia barely registered as a major news event. It isn’t the top story on most major news sites. From CNN:

U.S. military forces conducted an operation Monday against the Al-Shabaab network in Somalia, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

“We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate,” he said.

No other information was immediately available. The Pentagon did not say who was targeted, where in Somalia the operation took place nor why the operation was happening now.

But the governor of Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region said a suspected drone strike hit a small rebel-held village between the towns of Dhaab Tubaako and Haaway.

 This is a perfect example of the dronification of American foreign policy at work.

One of the only significant restraints on military action by the United States has been the political/PR concern of American service members getting hurt. Polling has constantly show that the public is far more reluctant to get involved if it puts any Americans at risk.

Thanks to air superiority, and more importantly the development of weaponized drones, the President can use them with little fear of political or legislative fallout. There will never be a Black Hawk Down drama about a fallen robot.

While Democrats have rather quietly accepted this situation because it is their guy holding the joystick, I wonder if they will regret these years spent setting this precedent when President Rick Perry is able to drone strike anyone anywhere with impunity.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at