Asked about the Danab Brigade by Vice News, a major general within the US command structure Africom joked: “This is a Somali problem and a problem that the Danab Brigade and the Somalis have to face. . We have trained them and they are very competent. The fight against terrorism is very difficult. The use of propaganda is real. The fact that the terrorist group al Shabaab claims victory is not true. “
The context of this submission is particularly important if it is to be set in the larger context of the “booming” headlines by the country’s local media and social media after the news that a motley number of US special forces will be announced. deployed to Mozambique for training. the Mozambican army against violent extremist entities, mainly the one designated as affiliated with al Shabaab by the United States in recent days. Donald Trump, the recently defeated former US president still in shock, had ordered US troops to leave Somalia saying “these long wars were impossible to win”.
Prior to this remark, talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, another entity identified as a terrorist entity, had begun to unfold in many areas without “any leadership”.
There is speculation that US President Joe Biden could extend the US military’s presence for another six months, in direct opposition to the deal reached between the militants and the foreign power.
Members of the Iraqi army trained by US special forces were wiped out by ISIS and lost related war equipment and memorabilia which was later used to wage anarchy, attack the Yazidis, among others. bloody acts undertaken by the violent extremist entity.
The presence of American troops in Africa is not a new phenomenon. They are present in Djibouti and Kenya, not to mention the 2017 ambush in Niger which revealed the “face behind the mask” regarding the presence of US special forces in Africa.
Mohamed Farah Aideed humiliated American troops at the time in Mogadishu. Remember the theme of the movie, Black Hawk Down. The United States began to oust Osama bin Laden and after two terrorist attacks in Kenya and Tanzania, stepped up cooperation with African states. The 9/11 attacks saw the intensified application of the Bush Doctrine, while the era of Jihad 3.0 defined by IS extremism resulted in the migration to Africa of some of these most violent terrorist organizations .
The formation of the Danab brigade by US special forces in Somalia is comparable to what we are going to see in Mozambique. The facts are clear, the result is the same and the goal remains the same. American interests in Cabo Delgado are under siege.
No African member state, especially Sadc, has attempted to be at the mercy of US promises to wage a definitive “long war” in Mozambique. It’s not worth the shot.
Suggestions that “Sadc does nothing” are motivated by emotions and not by the reality of counterterrorism. The priority is good. They started a fire in Somalia and now they are letting the Somalis put it out. Senior generals in the US special forces even say it is a Somali problem.
Other countries that have attempted to tweak the grandiose belligerent rhetoric of the United States have taken the brunt of these terrorists. Kenya is a good example. The military-centric approach to counterterrorism still pursued by the United States has been a confirmed legendary failure, militarily and politically, even since the days of General Westmoreland in Vietnam.
Crying headlines have been written about the presence of US special troops in Mozambique. The interests are commercial. They need to be protected. At least $ 51 billion is expected to be accumulated by US companies and friendly states through the exploitation of Cabo Delgado’s resources. Much is at stake. It has nothing to do with Sadc in the short term, but everything to do with the body in the medium and long term. The presence of US troops continues to lead to an increasing presence of weapons of war in the affected region. The sequence is clear.
Failed states and wars break out as organized crime syndicates take hold. Sadc member states must holistically come up with new counterterrorism models that target socio-economic factors leading to escalation. There is no reason to believe that the foreign policy of the United States represents a model of the fight against terrorism which must be adopted by all.
The war on terrorism is a real risk that requires a practical approach. These fourth generation wars are indiscriminate and cannot be won by the use of force alone. The Danab brigade in Somalia will achieve the same result that will be achieved by the Mozambican initiative about to be conceived.
Sapien is a trade and security analyst