House Rejects Matt Gaetz’s Resolution To Remove Troops From Somalia

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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The House of Representatives has rejected a war powers resolution introduced by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida to remove U.S. military personnel from Somalia.

The recorded vote, held on Thursday afternoon, yielded 321 members voting against the bill with 102 voting in favor. The resolution, designated H.Con. Res. 30 and co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar of Arizona as well as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, would have directed President Joe Biden to order all American troops to leave the country, with the exception of Marine Security Guards who protect the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu. (RELATED: DOJ Inspector General Has No Answer To How Many In Government Can Spy On Americans Through ‘Backdoor’ Searches)

Biden ordered a small contingent of about 500 U.S. military personnel to Somalia in 2022, to train, advise, and assist Somali government forces in fighting Al-Shabab, an Islamic Jihadist terrorist organization that operates in East Africa. Biden’s order reversed a decision by President Donald Trump at the end of his term to remove all troops from Somalia, which was completed by Jan. 15, 2021.

Gaetz introduced the bill on March 28, citing “the American people[‘s] extremely low confidence in our military leaders and their ability to assess their own efficacy,” in a statement after the bill’s introduction. He added, “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 afterward?”

Among the 102 votes Gaetz received, 50 were from Democrats, including left-wing members such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri, Pramila Jayapal of Washington State, who also chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who was born in Somalia and immigrated to the U.S. as a refugee from the country.

“I have far more confidence in the strategy that Congresswoman Omar laid out, which was the Somali government working to create some sense of national identity among Somali clans. And no one has made a compelling argument that we are essential to that process,” Gaetz said on the floor of the House before the vote.

Gaetz’s statement, though made in March, bears resemblance to the ongoing coup d’etat in Sudan since April 15, where a mutinous faction of the Sudanese military known as the “Rapid Support Forces” are fighting the country’s armed forces whose military junta currently rules the country. No U.S. Forces have been deployed in Sudan, though the Biden administration has considered doing so, according to CBS News.

The vote on H. Con. Res. 30 fails in the House of Representatives. Screenshot/U.S. House of Representatives

This is not Gaetz’s first resolution to withdraw U.S. troops from the Middle East and North Africa. In March, he introduced a similar War Powers Resolution to withdraw troops from Syria, which failed by a similar margin.

“If this is all one big Georgetown School of Foreign Service essay exam about great power competition in Syria, you go tell that to the parents of the Americans who have to sleep tonight in Syria, who have to guard oil fields with Iranian drones coming at them – that they’re necessary to preserve the balance of power. That is not true,” Gaetz said on the floor of the House in response to the failed Syria vote.

Gaetz, the White House and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service have been contacted for a request for comment.

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