Defeat extremism alongside US soldiers in Somalia
Despite nearly ten years of sustained effort by US Special Operations Forces and their Somali and African Union (AMISOM) partners, Somalia remains a deeply troubled and critically unstable nation. It’s unique geography and weak government allow a long-running insurgency to continue operating while violent extremist organizations recruit, train, and conduct operations to the detriment of the country and region as a whole. The presence of ISIS and al Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliate, has kept Somalia in a fragile state where two steps backward often accompany every step forward. Repeated US airstrikes conducted in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia are an effective but temporary solution for stabilizing Somalia.
Real progress is made by the soldiers on the ground, seizing and holding ground currently occupied by terror groups. Denying these groups the ability to easily move throughout the country is the first step towards stabilization – a task easier said than done. Whenever Somali soldiers attempt to advance on the terror groups, they encounter improvised explosive devices (IEDs) along their path, strategically placed by bad actors aiming to kill those pursuing peace. This technology was refined by al Qaeda and ISIS during the conflicts in the Middle East and transferred to the Horn of Africa through transnational terror networks. Currently, Somali forces do not possess the capability to detect these complex devices. The risk of life-threatening injuries posed to Somali soldiers, coupled with the protective bubble explosive devices create for terror groups, reduce the pace of progress toward a safer and more secure Somalia.
Your generous support will allow Somali explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) specialists to access the equipment needed to effectively find and dispose of bombs. Spirit of America is also purchasing new medical kits for our partners on the ground in the event of an IED injury. This expanded ability to care for wounded comrades and safely find and destroy explosive devices will give our partners the confidence necessary to push forward in the fight against violent extremism.