WSF – The cliche, Africa Wins Again, comes to mind. Other than the piracy problem, do we have any vital interests there?
I’m not sure how vital our interest is in stopping piracy. It’s a bigger problem for other nations than it is for the US, and we can strike the coast with impunity and wipe out pirate lairs at will. US national will is the issue. But the Chinese or the Japanese or the British could do the same. Naval gunfire can do a lot of damage. US aircraft can do a better job, but it’s a matter of degree. Naturally the American press decries any punishment of pirates as ‘racist’.
The latest reliable GDP numbers for Somalia is $5.896 billion in 2010. Even that number is suspect to me. To compare, the Arizona GDP was $355 billion in 2018 according to BEA data. Your (WSF) state of Colorado’s GDP was $377 billion. The California GDP was $3 trillion. The island of Guam (US Territory) had a $6 billion GDP. If it should capsize, its GDP would be less than Somalia. At least 30% of the Somali GDP is derived from foreign aid from all sources including the UN. They probably earn about the same in piracy in a good year. Lately international pressure and military attacks on pirates has reduced income from that industry.
A small rural county in Arizona produces significantly more than the entire nation of Somalia.
The only thing that Somalia had going for it was the production of small quantities of uranium, gemstones and salt. Non US companies have mining concessions regionally in Somalia, but it would be interesting to know if the cost of extracting (including necessary security) yields much of a profit.
When the central Government collapsed in 1991, documents certifying mineral rights were destroyed, and today, nobody is sure who owns what. Bribes to government officials can get you regional mining concessions since only the central government can authorize mining rights as a matter of law.
So, you can presume that there isn’t much of value in Somalia. The only significant export could be said to be terrorism but even their terrorist al-Qeada affiliate states that it is only interested in East Africa.
LSP – Thanks for the briefing and it’s weird to think of Minneapolis as Little Mogadishu, but there it is. Trouble.
President Obama might have cited the value of Somalia rested in its people. And you could make of that what you will. I don’t think that the US Army personnel who died there in 1993 would agree with Barack.
I think that my thesis holds that the country isn’t even worth the price of a single nuclear weapon.
Informative update. Thanks, as always, LL.
It's not. And SNFL 'should' take out any/all pirates and use NGFS to take out the bases. Don't waste an airplane and bombs. Sailors need practice too!
Thanks for the reply. We have a Somali population in Colorado, centered around the Denver suburb, Aurora. Very tall, thin people and arrogant in the extreme. They dominate the taxicab business at DIA. Some are employed in the meat packing industry where they cause problems.
It's fascinating that there seems to not be even rough consensus on how many Somalis are in Minnesota, or even in the US. Wikipedia leads one of its entries with "74,000 in Minnesota". FactCheck (it's just a name duh; kinda like Honest Herman's Fine Used Cars) assures us that it's MUCH lower, and that claiming the number to be north of 70k is an attack (racist of course) on President Obama, PBUH.
Now personally I have no idea exactly how many Somalis are in MN, or the US, but it would be safe to conclude that whatever the true number is, it is certainly excess to requirements. I've traveled to MSP/Twin Cities a few times this year on business, and was fascinated to note that even the wealthy, educated/credentialed, generally liberal, overwhelmingly white people I was meeting were noticing that there is a problem with all the Somalis. Of course they glance over their shoulders first, then hunch over and speak rapidly in a low voice. Then they look around again. The tradecraft is terrible.
as to "the country is not worth the price of a single nuclear weapon" I think as a Aurora resident,I would establish a "go-fund-me" site to enable the use of perhaps a small Nuclear Weapon, say 0.75Megaton range. Even support the Navy delivering it.
somali and ethopian residents here just don't want to get along. the somai's would fit right in chicago.
those would be remarks by the "unarmed citizens"?
Not worth the price? Yes. And while we're at it, setting up Lil Mogadishus is a great vote boosting, virtue signalling larf until the first suitcase nuke goes off.
But maybe I'm paranoid that the Jihad's out to kill us.
Well, I dunno for sure, but "unarmed" is the safe bet. All those people are high-IQ, and for the most part genuinely decent so far as I can tell, but I'm pretty sure they'd be horrified by my deplorable-ness if only they knew. What's funny is that many don't seem to notice the massive disconnects between what they say they want and the politics they espouse; in other words, they're more than 50% "deplorable" already, but can't bring themselves to admit it.
In a similar vein here in Massholia, a good friend who is both Muslim and a VERY pro-Hillary Wellesley graduate was horrified to learn that I'd voted for Bad Orange Man. Immediately after that shocking discovery she then spent the next 5 minutes frantically trying to tell me that "deplorable" didn't apply to me. It went something like: But you're nice! And you're educated! You have degrees! 'Deplorable' applies to ignorant, resentful racists from flyover country who cling to Jesus, and to guns, and uh. Um. Oh. Oh! Hahaha! But she's very open about wanting to live in a safe, high income, professional, mostly white neighborhood. And isn't it funny how the supposedly egalitarian progressives are the ones who are all about years of formal education, degrees and credentialism?
"Big Trouble in Little Mogadishu".
I'm working on the screenplay.
Didn't one in a meat plant take a machete to a co-worker?
I feel your pain from next door in Rogue's Island.
For most of my life I could comfort myself that at least things were better here than over the border in the Peoples' Republic, but Mass. is decidedly better now. All we have is very slightly less bad gun laws.
I would suggest we aren't so much "back" in Somalia, as "still" in Somalia. If we ever actually left completely, it wasn't for long.
Reasons to be there? Only 2:
(a) Philanthropy (weak)
(b) Trying to cut a cancer out of the body of the world before it spreads (less weak).
How much and how long?
Well, take this with a mountain of salt. I am not a pro, or an ex-pro, or anything; merely an avid amateur historian and wargamer.
I'd say for best certainty, we'd want 3 divisions (or 9 brigades, however they want to call them now). Rotary wing would need to be local, fixed could live in Djibouti.
To make any difference there, we'd need to destroy the Clan system. This would mean killing A LOT of people. Anybody fighting (both sides), anybody with or in a militia, anybody carrying a rifle out of US uniform. Again and again. Would we have to kill a million? IDK, but I'd bet a lot of money on many tens of thousands.
We'd also have to do vast amounts of infrastructure and education / development work.
I figure we could have the place solidly pacified in 25 years,
and maybe sort of civilized in a hundred.
That sounds like a long time, but we've already been there for 35 years, and have zero to show.
Worth it? I guarantee the answer of the US electorate is "NO!". To me… maybe. But I'm fairly crazy and one of the most callous (Western) people you might ever meet.
If we aren't going to take it seriously (we aren't) then we should just stay out and occasionally re-introduce the world to the concept of "Punitive Expedition".
On the subject of for Little Mogadishu, AFAICT it was intentionally set up as a permanent non-assimilating ghetto, like intentionally transplanting a diseased organ into a healthy person. If it wasn't intentional, I'm not sure I can comprehend the level of stupidity required.
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