Foreign Policy quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on the counterterrorism operation the Pentagon conducted in Somalia:
Peter Pham, the director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, said the U.S. seemingly has increased its role in Somalia as it strengthens its capabilities with AMISOM and local forces.
“I would put the apparent increase in U.S. operational tempo in Somalia as a function of both better intelligence and a change in al-Shabaab itself,” Pham wrote FP in an email late Monday. “The first is the result of an increased presence, both public and clandestine, that has resulted in information that can be operationalized,” he wrote. The second shift is within Shabaab after it ‘abandoned Mogadishu’ in 2011 and became more focused on terrorism, rather than insurgence, and began to pose a greater threat to the U.S. and its allies, Pham said.