As the military action in Afghanistan begins to wind down, military planners, pundits and the press are beginning to look for around for the next target for the U.S. military. Iraq will come eventually, I'm sure, but it appears as though Somalia may be the next phase, according to a report by Bill Gertz in The Washington Times. I don't always trust what I read in the Times because of its ownership, but Gertz has proven over the years to be one of the most resourceful and accurate military reporters in Washington.
U.S. and allied military forces are stepping up aerial-reconnaissance flights over Somalia in preparation for raids against al Qaeda terrorist bases in the north African nation, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
Intelligence reports also disclosed that some 100 al Qaeda terrorists were identified recently in Somalia. The terrorists were spotted as part of the Islamic rebel group there known as Al-Ittihad Al-Islam, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The Mogadishu-based group, known as AIAI, is linked to Somali warlord Hussein Mohammed Aideed and has close ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist group in Afghanistan.
"Somalia will likely be next," said one defense official familiar with defense planning.
Aideed is the same piece of scum former President Bill Clinton was trying to get back in 1993. After 18 American soldiers were killed, and one soldier's body was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, the mission collapsed. Instead of reinforcing Clinton's desire to do what was right by killing Aideed, Clinton pulled out all the troops.