Rep. Matt Gaetz has added a new country to those he wants American troops removed from: Somalia.
On Tuesday, the Fort Walton Beach Republican introduced a new resolution to try to force President Joe Biden to pull U.S. forces from the war-torn African nation.
“While the Congressional War Machine has decided to rage on in Syria, they must explain how continuing the occupation of Somalia best serves the interests of the American people at home,” Gaetz tweeted on Tuesday. “If they cannot, it is incumbent upon the Congress to bring our troops home.”
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Gaetz’s one-paragraph bill would recall all troops except those assigned to defend the U.S. embassy.
Gaetz filed the measure as a War Powers Resolution, which forces the House of Representatives to vote on it within the next 18 days.
The resolution is co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Paul Gosar or Arizona and Anna Paulina Luna of Clearwater.
The congressman filed the measure just days after an exchange during a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee,
During questioning, Gen. Michael Langley, commander of the U.S. Africa Command, acknowledged that the U.S. military had trained African soldiers who later attempted to overthrow their own governments.
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Langley downplayed the issue, saying it was a “very small number” of coup leaders that were trained by American troops. But he also asserted that the United States “shares core values” with these rebels, even as he claimed the training instilled respect for civilian leadership.
“The American people have extremely low confidence in our military leaders and their ability to assess their own efficacy. How do they expect Americans to believe their justification for occupying Somalia when they can’t even determine who in their own training programs will lead a violent coup afterwards?” Gaetz said in Tuesday’s press release.
“But as Americans become more aware of our country’s military misadventures abroad, the calls to end forever wars are growing,” he added.
The website Antiwar.com reported that President Joe Biden deployed 500 troops to Somalia last May to fight al-Shabaab, a group military leaders say is affiliated with al-Qaeda.
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Antiwar.com also noted, “Al-Shabaab was born out of a US-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia that was launched in 2006, and the group didn’t declare loyalty to al-Qaeda until 2012, after years of fighting the US and its proxies.”
Gaetz noted in his statement that while his measure to pull U.S. troops from Syria earlier this month failed, it still earned the support of 103 lawmakers from both parties, including 56 Democrats.
“Congress has never authorized the use of military force in Syria,” Gaetz said after that vote, which was prompted by four U.S. troops and canine being injured in an attack on a terrorist stronghold.
“The United States is currently not in a war with or against Syria, so why are we conducting dangerous military operations there? America First means actually putting the people of our country first — not the interests of the Military Industrial Complex.”
In February, Gaetz also filed the “Ukraine Fatigue” resolution, arguing it was time to cut off military and civilian aid to Ukraine.
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