February 16, 2014 |
For decades, one golden rule has guided America's military involvement in Africa: Stay out. Generally speaking, the reason was a sense that the strategic stakes did not justify the risk. When we deviated from this rule, we often learned lessons the hard way that seemed to reinforce its validity, as in Somalia in 1993. And while presidents often profess a stronger interest in Africa than their actions would imply, they tend to say such things when not in the White House - witness Bill Clinton calling the nonintervention in Rwanda's 1994 genocide his greatest regret as president, or Sen. Barack Obama calling for more assertiveness in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC, and Sudan six to eight years ago. But, in fact, now is the time to reassess this long-standing American anathema to military involvement in Africa's terrible wars.
January 26, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. carried out a missile strike in southern Somalia on Sunday that is believed to have killed a militant leader linked to Al Qaeda, officials said. The airstrike in a remote area near the town of Barawe was aimed at a leader of the Shabab, the Somali Islamic militant group, the officials said. It appeared that the man was killed when the missile hit his vehicle, said one of the officials, who were speaking anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the operation.
October 18, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Kenyan and Norwegian authorities are investigating the possible involvement of a 23-year-old Somali-born Norwegian in a devastating attack last month on a shopping mall in Kenya, officials said Friday. The Somali terror group Shabab claimed responsibility for the assault, which killed at least 61 civilians, six members of Kenya's security forces and five attackers, according to official figures. The BBC identified the suspect as Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow, who arrived in Norway in 1999.
October 18, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- A Somali-born Norwegian said to be a suspect in a deadly assault on a Kenyan shopping mall was described Friday by former classmates and others who knew him as an observant Muslim who struggled to fit in after his family fled their troubled homeland. Norway's TV-2 reported that 23-year-old Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow posted statements online when he was 16 indicating that he wanted to go back to Somalia to fight with the Shabab, the militant group that claims responsibility for last month's attack.
October 14, 2013 |
Barkhad Abdi is used to finding his way in strange new places: At age 7, he moved with his family from war-torn Somalia to Yemen, where he learned Arabic on the soccer field. At 14, he moved to Minneapolis and learned English from Jay-Z songs and "Seinfeld" episodes. Now, at 27, Abdi has made himself at home in another new town - Hollywood - by starring opposite Tom Hanks in the film "Captain Phillips. " In director Paul Greengrass' fact-based thriller, which opened Friday, Abdi plays Muse, a Somali pirate who hijacks an American cargo ship and takes its captain hostage.
October 11, 2013 |
The Tom Hanks movie "Captain Phillips," which opens Friday, will focus attention - again - on piracy off the coast of Somalia. The movie, in which (spoiler alert) the bad guys get caught, unfortunately might lead you to think that this is a problem that's been solved. After all, since the April 2009 seizure of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, recounted in "Captain Phillips," there has been only one hijacking of a U.S.-flagged vessel by Somali pirates, the February 2011 seizure of a U.S. yacht in which the Americans were killed.