Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) resolution (H.Con.Res. 30) that would, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, require the removal of United States military members from Somalia is on the schedule for consideration in the US House of Representatives this week. The resolution directs the president to remove all US military members from the African country within one year, except for those assigned to protect the US embassy.
Why should House members support the resolution? Gaetz made his case for a “yes” vote in an episode of his Firebrand podcast. The March 28 episode is titled “Why Are We In Somalia?”. In answer to the episode title’s question, Gaetz argues in a commentary at the beginning of the episode that there is no good reason for the US military to be in Somalia and plenty of good reasons for it to leave.
Gaetz, who had earlier forced a vote in the House on removing the US military from Syria, explains a common purpose of both resolutions. Gaetz states, “I am going to make these neocons in both parties vote to defend each and every place where we have troops where we should not, where the goals are unclear, and where we are largely wasting the efforts of our military families and our service members — not because of anything they’re doing wrong, but because the decision-makers in Washington have far too often just delegated authority to the executive to decide where we engage in these misadventures and skirmishes all over the world.”
“The situation in Somalia,” continues Gaetz, “is actually quite familiar; it’s one more front in the globalist American empire’s lineup of forever wars.” For 16 years, except for a “little break” brought about by President Donald Trump, Gaetz explains, “the United States has been involved in an ‘advise and assist’ mission in Somalia.” This mission, Gaetz elaborates, has involved “numerous operations and airstrikes within the country.”
President Joe Biden reversed last year restraints Trump had imposed on US military members remaining long-term in Somalia.
Pointing to the US military’s killing of innocent individuals, including children, in Somalia, Gaetz argues that this results in “creating more terrorists” instead of accomplishing the purported goal of “fighting terrorism.” Gaetz’s statement here brings to mind Rep. Ron Paul’s argument, in a 2017 Republican presidential debate, concerning blowback arising from US intervention abroad.
Gaetz also argues in his commentary that a reason to take the US military out of Somalia is to protect US military members from needless harm. “The lives of our troops have been carelessly gambled in Somalia for close to 30 years now,” states Gaetz. He provides as an example the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu or “Black Hawk Down incident” that “resulted in the deaths of 18 US soldiers.”
Further, argues Gaetz, the presence of US military members in Somalia is part of a larger situation where “the US military war machine continues to throw troops and money into dangerous situations for unclear gain.” “I’m all about using our military to protect our country, but do we really fear some activity in Somalia as a threat to our homeland?” asks Gaetz rhetorically.
Watch Gaetz’s commentary here:
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.