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Somalia: Discharged SNA Soldiers Cry Foul, Besiege Villa Somalia E-mail
Saturday, 08 February 2014 19:40

Demobilized SNA Soldiers Demonstrate in Mogadishu/fileDemobilized SNA Soldiers Demonstrate in Mogadishu/file

By: Yusuf M Hasan

MOGADISHU (Somalilandsun) – Villa Somalia the official residence of the SFG president Hasan Sheikh is currently besieged by Hundreds of recently Demobilized Somalia National Army-SNA soldiers.

The siege at Villa Somalia ensued after the demobilized SNA soldiers most of them dressed in their uniforms and officers displaying ranks staged a protest demonstration at the Jaale (Comrade) Siad (Barre) monument in Hawdle estate Mogadishu.

The demonstrating men and women now Ex-officers were protesting their dismissal by the SNA Commander General Dahir Khalif Elmi 'Indo-qarshe' whom they are accusing of having betrayed them on top throwing them to wolves despite diligence to service.

"The commander erred in firing us from our posts at a time we were engaged in countering Al-Shabaab operations in the Capital city Mogadishu and environs" Said a spokesperson of the out of work soldiers.

The protesting Ex-soldiers who termed their dishonourable discharge from the army as not only detrimental to their families' welfare and livelihoods but a risk to personal lives due to what they said were certain retribution by Al-Shabaab.

"Yesterday we were fighting Al-Shabaab on behalf of the Federal Government and today it, Government, has dishonourably fired us thus exposing us to the wolves" lamented the ex-soldiers citing their known identity by Al-Shabaab as a sure negative remedy for their insecurity.

After their Jaale Siyad demonstrations the ex-soldiers extended their protest to Villa Somalia where they were augmented by disabled colleagues in an ongoing siege of the presidency in Mogadishu.

While the hundreds of Ex-Soldiers were aghast at their discharge the disabled officers were protesting the lack of support by the Somalia Federal Government and more specifically the withdrawal of food supplies.

Whilst the SFG ministry of defence justified the dishonourable discharge of over 700 officers of various ranks due to some being AWOL-away without official leave and others holding other government jobs the lives of the discharged are surely in danger.

On the other hand sources within the Mogadishu based army headquarters indicate that the firings were in keeping line with the clan politics of SFG president Hasan Sheikh Mahmud whose interference in Military affairs is a covert abetment of Al-Shabaab activities.

 

Comments

 
+5 # Prognosis 2014-02-08 20:44
700 New re0its for Shabab?

This is also an indication to the current serving officers that they will one day face similar inconsiderate action from their superiors who have stolen their salaries on a monthly basis.

Hassan Mahamoud does not deserve any loyalty from anyone as he will use, abuse and discard anyone just like he used and discarded Saaqid Shirdool.
 
 
0 # United Nations 2014-02-10 19:17
Somalia is a dangers place we don't want to take section because mr hassen shiek is also al-shabab terrost group leader

there are lots of Piracy and terrost groups in Soamlia.

now we want to reconize Somaliland republic because they have peace and there has beeen development going on in Somaliland we love them to come to United Ntions and take there seat because there are a real Natoin there are not a part of Somalia any more and we are not going to ask somalia about because they already have reconized as Nation Somaliland in London and Istanbul and so on this is not fair and we dediced to reconize Somaliland as soon as possible.
 
 
+2 # rebellion 2014-02-08 23:32
Hassan Mahamoud and his fake gov are a mess.They havent achieved nothing since they got elected and actually things are the same if not worse, these ex soldiers need to take up arms ang get rid off these fakes.
 
 
0 # Sayid Waddani 2014-02-10 17:00
somalia IS a fake country now ethiopia and kenya are taking over kismayo to Piracyland lol
 
 
0 # jamal007 2014-02-09 01:21
reer somaliand maxay naga rabtiin ina goadne koonfur uso dirteen si aqoonsi ku hashaan lag wa fashilnteen hasan sh ayaa idnka wakiila .
 
 
+1 # northern boy 2014-02-09 09:02
zero IQ siilland , i don,t think the can manage their house hold.let alone to handle regime.sit back and watch gleefully by wrecking havoc to themself VIVO SOMALIWEYN.
 
 
0 # Guest 2014-02-09 14:12
kkk Angry Gondarbuzi & dhilobahante
VIVA SOMALILAND.
 
 
+1 # kkk Angry Gondarbuzi 2014-02-09 14:23
kkk Angry Gondarbuzi & dhilobahante
VIVA SOMALILAND
 
 
0 # 21st battalion 2014-02-09 15:18
So much hatred! Only god knows best and may Allah help us all Insha'allah. Amiin
 
 
+1 # 1-love. 2014-02-09 16:16
u know what... I'm really disgusted reading these messages, honestly who are these people who writing these sort of messages about tribalism which to my mind has turn upside down to our whole identity. I spent most of my whole life in Europe and left somalia as a 5 year old and 1 day love to see all Somalis living peace and harmony. so please people love each other not hate. may Allah bless u all and clean your hearts.
 
 
0 # Burcawi 2014-02-09 18:20
It's because the greedy defense minister probably wants the lousy EU aid that pays their rations and salary to himself......bl oody hawiyes greed and fraud is their life......you know I honestly believe if another tribe was0nning mogu the place would be civilized honestly these people should be0led as they clearly lack the ability to0le themselves the animals......
 
 
+1 # Burcawi 2014-02-09 18:20
It's because the greedy defense minister probably wants the lousy EU aid that pays their rations and salary to himself......bl oody hawiyes greed and fraud is their life......you know I honestly believe if another tribe was0nning mogu the place would be civilized honestly these people should be0led as they clearly lack the ability to0le themselves the animals......
 
 
0 # Samar Cabdulahi 2014-02-09 19:51
Intabadan warbixinadda ay qoraan website-yada noocaan oo kale ah waxa ku jira been abuur iyo kuwa laga leeyahay dano siyaasadeed oo lagu doonayo in lagu qal qalgiyo Nabadgelyadda laguna abuuro jawi xasilooni darro iyadoo laga dhigayo qoraalka inuu u jiro qilaaf xoogan oo ku dhaxeeya dowladda iyo askar laga fariisiyay shaqadda. Waxaan qabaa in mujtamaca soomaliyeed ay ka fiirsadaan akhrinta warbixinadda ku tiri kuteenka ah ee lagu waxyeelaneyo Dowladnimadda iyo Midnimadda Shacabka. Ineysan noqon weel wax kasta lagu shubto ama sidii la doono wax looga dhaadhiciyo. Inta badan websityada qora dacyaadda maaha kuwa ay soomalida leeyihin balse dad ajnabi ah ayaa leh waxaana loo adeegsadaa in lagu abuuro jawi xasilooni darro maadama aysan dowladdaha ka jiro soomliya laheyn la xisaabtanka ama diiwangelinta websityadda ay leeyihiin dadka ajnabiga ah. Waxan idinka codsanaya Somalilandsun inaad noqotoaan kuwo u hiilaya wanaagga, midnimadda iyo h0marka guud ahaan Mujtamaca Soomaliyeed oo aad qalinka u qaadeen. Waxaana idinkaga digaya inaad noqoto kuwo u adeegaya dano dad gaar ah wataan oo lagu wiiqayo h0marka iyo wanaagga. Qalinkiina u adeegsada waxa wanagsan si aad qeyb uga noqotaan h0marka wanaagsan ee ka bidhaamaya dhamaan geyiga Soomaliyeed. From somalilan to Somali ilaa DDSomalida. Mahadsanidiin
 
 
0 # Mo 2014-02-09 23:23
Dharod, Dir, Hawiya, Rahanweyn. Somali Bantu, it doesn't matter, we are somali citizens and our tribes are scattered across the Horn of Africa and we should be proud and do our best to unite as a people and those who wish we somehow disappear so that they can divide and0le us will never succeed, we are bonded by our language, religion and heritage. We will defeat extremists who only make our enemies more happy because they have no other excuse to divide and conquer us in our weak position. Healthy disagreement between us is encouraged because after all we are independent proud people with a beautiful land we can all be proud of and great people who have shown the world they can succeed despite decades of despair and sufferings. Let's fight our biggest enemy within and let's talk between us from all corners of our land and let's find a solution that will free us from our sworn enemies, inshaalah.
 
 
-1 # Somaliland 2014-02-09 23:25
Somalilandsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been che
 
 
0 # sakaria 2014-02-10 02:05
If you believe that you are not apart of Somalia anymore you should live our countries problems to us alone. And focus on your own problems
 
 
0 # Guroonjire55 2014-02-10 04:02
haddaad maqashaan qof leh Somaliland waa Isaaq dadka la daga isaaqa ma rabaan waxa ay sheegaayaan ama goosashadaas
 
 
0 # Somaliland 2014-02-10 20:59
Somalilandsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that migration may have been checked, the Horn of Africa region is hardly a success story when it comes to security.
Al-Shabab in Somalia have become proficient in laying roadside bombs and have launched attacks beyond their borders in Kenya and Uganda, while al-Qaeda in Yemen has three times succeeded in getting explosive devices on board international flights. All this, while CJTF-HOA was doubling in size.
"It's a complex problem," admits Gen Grigsby, who only assumed command this year. But he says the Pentagon's aim is to get others in the region to take on the burden of defeating al-Shabab.
"Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralise violent extremists throughout eastern Africa.
"It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad."
'Garrison town'
Djibouti, an impoverished former French colony, has close links to the region's two most troubled nations, Yemen and Somalia, where US boots on the ground would not be popular.
But Djibouti has decided to throw in its lot with Washington and the West, becoming effectively the region's garrison town.
The French still maintain a major base here with over 2,000 servicemen and women, their Mirage fighter jets thundering down the0nway shared with the civilian international airport.
The Germans, Italians and Japanese are all here, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
But the biggest presence by far is American - there are more than 4,000 people on the base at Camp Lemonnier.
Housed in a compound within a compound are hundreds of highly secretive Special Forces operatives from JSOC - US Joint Special Operations Command.
They bypass normal camp authority, taking their orders direct from their own command in Florida.
Huge men with beards and steely expressions, they keep to themselves, often deploying at night. Their primary target is the command leadership of al-Shabab across the border in Somalia.
Since four gunmen from that group killed more than 60 shoppers in Nairobi's Westgate mall in September, Washington has injected a new urgency into its hunt to track down the leaders before they can plan more attacks.
Drone strikes
One controversial tool in JSOC's arsenal is the use of missile strikes by unmanned Reaper drones. Until last September they took off from this base but after a number of crashes and near misses the Djibouti government asked the Americans to move them out to a desert0nway.
The drone strikes have continued, sometimes killing civilians and attracting condemnation from human rights groups as "extrajudicial killings".
So I asked Djibouti's Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssuf if this bothered him.
"We feel that really Djibouti is one of the top targets of al-Shabab in the region," he replied, adding that: "These people are very dangerous, the al-Shabab and al-Qaeda elements. So whatever it takes.
"If we can contain them, ok, if we can get rid of them it's better.
"But we don't have to waste time in asking each and every time ourselves if we should use drones or not".
It certainly looks like America is here to stay. Fresh building work is still under way at the camp.
So as long as this remains a troubled region and Djibouti is happy to play host, Washington has a firm foothold on the Horn of Africa.
The drone strikes against militant leaders look set to continue.Somali landsun - Missile strikes by US drones against al-Shabab and al-Qaeda leaders are "vital" and will continue, according to the government of Djibouti, from where the controversial drone strikes are launched.
Washington has been building up a large military base in Djibouti and training regional armies to fight al-Shabab in Somalia.
'Complex problem'
Beneath a blazing sun, gunmetal grey helicopters line the0nway at this former French Foreign Legion base, now leased by Washington from the government of Djibouti.
The helicopters and rows of other US aircraft are equipped for long-range missions, some covert, some more conventional. r 0>The Pentagon's recently created East Africa Response Force (EARF) is here. Its soldiers flew at short notice to South Sudan in December to protect the US embassy and its staff, a lesson learnt from the catastrophic attack on the poorly defended US consulate in Benghazi.
The US taskforce here, under the catchy title of "Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa," or CJTF-HOA, was set up nearly 12 years ago.
Back then, Washington's aim was to stop al-Qaeda operatives from migrating westwards from Pakistan into East Africa, by interdictions and showing nations in the region how to improve their security.
This week I put it to the Task Force Commander, US Brigadier-Gener al Wayne Grigsby, that while that
 

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