Note: This op-ed originally appeared in the New York Times and was written by Enough Project Policy and Research Director Jon Temin.
The Trump administration has made it clear that the United States will take a more aggressive approach to battling al-Shabaab extremists in Somalia.
In March, President Trump granted the military expanded authorities to operate in Somalia, paving the way for an accelerated military campaign.
By declaring parts of Somalia an “area of active hostilities,” Mr. Trump gave the Department of Defense authority to approve strikes without going through an Obama-era vetting process, which potentially lowers the bar for tolerance of civilian casualties. And the head of American forces in Africa, who advocated the change, said this would “allow us to prosecute targets in a more rapid fashion.”
The United States also recently sent several dozen additional troops to Somalia and reportedly requested information on the locations of aid groups there, possibly to ensure they are out of the way of airstrikes. One American soldier was killed in Somalia this month, the first combat death there since 1993…