Somalia: Another Case of U.S. Arming Terrorists

While trying to send arms to counter-terrorists, the U.S. may be arming terrorists themselves, again!

arming somalia

The Wall Street Journal begins its story, “Murky Arms Traffic Plagues Somalia,” with this paragraph:

Since leaving Somalia in the 1990s, Musa Haji Mohamed Ganjab has been a landlord and entrepreneur and served as a representative of the Somali government, which the U.S. is backing to fight the jihadist group al-Shabaab.

Sadly, the rest of the story is unavailable unless you have a paid subscription to the Wall Street Journal. Thankfully, the Reason.com blog hits the highlights for us.

The Wall Street Journal reports about Somalia, for sad decades a poster child for some of the horrid side effects of being a poor nation caught in Western war and power games, that arms being sent supposedly to help the Somalian government fight Islamic terror group Al Shabaab might be going to arm them.

So this is about the war on terror. We want Al Shabaab defeated or destroyed or disbanded or whatever. So we give the Somali government weapons. What could go wrong?

According to a United Nations report, the problem is that the person we have been working with to arm the Somali government, Ganjab, has not been giving all the weapons to them. Instead he has given some of the U.S. weapons to al-Shabaab.

Ganjab denies the accusations and insists that either the weapons were hijacked, or that the evidence against him was faked. A State Department official told the Wall Street Journal that many U.S. diplomats find the report believable.

But nothing changed. After the U.N. investigators delivered their report the U.N. Security Council, the Council voted to continue to allow weapons to flow into Somalia ostensibly to fight terrorism in Somalia.

At this point, no one can be certain if the weapons are going to fight terrorism or to equip terrorists. But the default position is to keep sending the weapons.

This isn’t some kind of completely unprecedented anomaly. The U.S. government has a habit of allowing its weapons to fall into the hands of the terrorists it claims to be fighting—like in the case of ISIS.

One has to wonder if the war on terror is something our decision-makers in the U.S. really want to win or if it is more profitable to them to draw it out as long as possible.