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War and conquest | US in Somalia

Posted by: The Conversation Global

Date: Tuesday, 03 December 2019

 

Editor's note

In 2005, President Bush used the word “victory” 15 times in a speech about the Iraq War. Things had changed in 2009, when President Obama sought to get rid of the idea of victory in US strategic discourse, arguing that it evokes crude associations with conquest. But the idea of “winning” wars has very much come to the fore again in Trump’s presidency. Despite this uneven US rhetoric, it is undeniable that wars no longer produce clear-cut victories. Still, as Cian O'Driscoll writes, the ideal of victory still very much guides how we think about war.

Under the Trump administration, there’s been an increase in the number of airstrikes aimed at helping Somali ground forces recapture territory taken by Al-Shabaab. But, as Bryce W. Reeder explains, the strategy has hidden costs.

Josephine Lethbridge

Interdisciplinary Editor

Top Stories

A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask flashing a victory sign in Beirut in November 2019. EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH

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Wars don't produce winners and losers – they never really did.

America’s military presence in Somalia could be causing more harm than good. Mazen Mahdi/EPA

We set out to uncover the hidden costs of US airstrikes in Somalia

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The resilience of Al-Shabaab raises questions about the effectiveness of the current US military strategy in Somalia.

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