US Special Forces have struck yet again inside Somalia. The latest airstrike in central Somalia killed senior Shabab and al Qaeda leader Aden Hashi Ayro and seven others. The attack comes as the Islamic Courts steps up its attacks on Somali and Ethiopian forces and has overrun villages and districts in central and western Somalia.
The airstrike has been confirmed by Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, the spokesman for Shabab, the youth wing of the radical Islamic Courts Union. "A US warplane bombed us in Dhusamareb district and there were casualties," Robow said in a statement. "This was an unprovoked attack." Press reports indicate at least eight people were killed in the strike.
Robow confirmed that Aden Hashi Ayro and Sheikh Muhyadin Omar, two senior leaders in the Islamic Courts, were among those killed. Ayro was the leader of Shabab and served as an operational commander during the rule of the Islamic Courts. He trained under Hassan Dahir Aweys, the leader of the Islamic Courts who is also a senior al Qaeda leader. Ayro was sent to train in al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan prior to 2001.
This is positive on several levels, the first being simply the extermination of an evil man. But more importantly it reminds bad guys all over that they won't even hear it coming. It also shows that we are being proactive in tracking down and whacking terrorists wherever they pop their heads up. The Horn of Africa has had active Islamic insurgencies in a number of countries and we have had operations expanding there in a classic counterinsurgency fashion. We have been doing plenty of humanitarian projects all over the region, but the velvet glove has an iron fist in it and an occasional airstrike vaporizing a murderous scum is a useful reminder.
The left loses it when they consider the prospect of a long war, but they miss the point that the more diligently you pursue a COIN strategy the less often you have to use force. In addition the better you integrate with the people, the better your intelligence is, so you can target just the bad guys, not simply cordon and searching an entire block. The use of force during COIN is necessary and proper, but it should be employed only after softer tactics have failed. Once it is employed force should be lethal and decisive as it's use is as much "Pour encourager les autres",to encourage the others, as to take out whatever vermin you have targeted directly. The prospect of being returned to your component molecules may not deter suicide bomber types, but most other tyrants have a healthier self interest than that and we want to influence their behavior. Then once we have smacked down the bad actors the decent people can get back to building better lives, with our help. The Small Wars Journal has an excellent piece as usual on Non-Lethal aspects of our operations in Iraq that details how these are the final keys to actual victory.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
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Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.