Latest in Somalia

War Powers

Do the Strikes on al Shabaab Stretch the AUMF or The Unit Self-defense Doctrine?

Charlie Savage’s piece on the legal basis for the March 5 U.S. strike against an al Shabaab training camp, which allegedly killed 150 fighters, raises the intriguing question of whether the AUMF has been stretched yet again, this time to justify U.S. operations against al Shabaab as a whole.

Somalia

Boots on the Ground in Somalia: Acting "By, With, and Through" a Local Partner to Minimize Friction

These days, when the United States plays the lead role in using lethal force or detaining and interrogating prisoners, the force typically involves only airpower and detention-and-interrogation typically are just transient. This has the effect of tamping down the political, legal, and diplomatic headaches that follow from using boots-on-the-ground to conduct raids and from holding detainees for the long term. But these are not the only means by which to tamp down those frictions.

targeted killing

Airstrikes Outside Areas of Active Hostilities: Attacks in Somalia and Questions About the Current Shape of the Policy

Just this morning, I was thinking that things have been rather quiet with respect to media coverage of U.S. operations against AQ and AQ affiliates in places like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Well...

Alien Tort Statute

Warfaa v. Ali: Fourth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Somali’s Alien Tort Statute Claims

Last week, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of several Alien Tort Statute claims against Yusuf Ali, a former Colonel in the Somali National Army who served under the military dictatorship of Mohamed Siad Barre. The plaintiff, Farhan Warfaa, is a member of a clan persecuted by the Barre regime during the 1980s, and still resides in Somalia. Warfaa alleges that in 1987, Ali (and soldiers under Ali’s command) detained, interrogated, and repeatedly tortured him before shooting him and leaving him for dead.

Targeted Killing

Pentagon Confirms Death of ISIL's Leader in Libya in Already-Reported Strike, and Also a New Strike (against al Shabaab) in Somalia

In something of a coda to last night's presidential address, the Pentagon has just issued press release confirming that a previously-reported November airstrike conducted by the U.S.

Jihadology

Jihadology Podcast: The State of Jihadism in Somalia: al-Shabab & IS

Harun Maruf comes on the show to discuss jihadism in Somalia. Some of the topics covered include:

What al-Shabab has been up to since the Westgate Mall attack in Kenya Background on al-Shabab’s leader Ahmad Umar and how he compares with its former leader Ahmed Abdi Godane The state of foreign fighters in Somalia The status of The Islamic State’s efforts in Somalia

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Targeted Killing: Drones

A Response to the “Drone Papers”: AUMF Targeting is a Deliberate Process with Robust Political Accountability

The Intercept’s “Drone Papers” leaker “believes the public has a right to know how the U.S. government decides to assassinate people.” Maybe so—or maybe public safety and the need for secrecy trump the public’s curiosity. Unfortunately, the leaker has unilaterally decided for all of us. One person with a thumb drive again trumps the democratic process.

Jihadology

Jihadology Podcast: Jihadi Governance 101

Will McCants comes on the show to talk about jihadi governance. The conversation is based on a chapter in his new book The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State. Aaron and Will discussed numerous cases of jihadi groups attempts to govern, including the Islamic State of Iraq, al-Shabab, AQAP, AQIM, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the Islamic State.

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