UC-Irvine scholar says Biden order redeploying troops to Somalia similar to existing military policy

A political anthropologist at the University of California, Irvine, said President Biden’s decision to redeploy troops to Somalia this week did not make “that much difference” in the overall U.S. military presence in the region.

Samar Al-Bulushi told Hill.TV on Wednesday that American troops might have been redeployed to Somalia, but trained African soldiers would be the ones fighting terror groups in the country.

“There’s not that much difference whether they are commuting in or whether they are permanently based there,” she said. “It’s not U.S. troops that are standing on the front lines.”

The Biden administration announced on Monday they would redeploy up to 500 troops to Somalia, reversing a Trump-era withdrawal of troops from the region.

The U.S. wants to keep a small foothold in Somalia to counter al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab’s presence in the country.

Al-Bulushi said Trump’s withdrawal was largely symbolic because the troops were simply re-positioned around the East African region.

“We have to ask ourselves how different of a policy is this at the end of the day,” she said.

Tags Department of Defense Joe Biden Somalia

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