Military Operations in the 2010s


Miller, Greg, Greg Jaffe, and Karen DeYoung. "U.S. Deploying Drones in Yemen to Hunt for Al-Qaeda, Has Yet to Fire Missiles." Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2010. []

U.S. officials have described a major buildup of intelligence and lethal assets in Yemen, including "additional CIA teams and up to 100 Special Operations force trainers, and the deployment of sophisticated surveillance and electronic eavesdropping systems operated by spy services" including NSA. The officials "declined to provide details on the drones that have been deployed to Yemen, except to say that they are operated by the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).... The Predators in Yemen are flown from a base outside the country that U.S. officials declined to identify. The most likely options include U.S. military installations in Djibouti and Qatar."

Whitlock, Craig. "U.S. Has Deployed Military Advisers to Somalia, Officials Say." Washington Post, 10 Jan. 2014. []

According to three U.S. military officials, the Pentagon "secretly deployed a small number of trainers and advisers [fewer than two dozen] to Somalia in October, the first time regular troops have been stationed in the war-ravaged country since 1993." Their role is "to advise and coordinate operations with African troops fighting to wrest control of the country from the al-Shabab militia....

"Drones from a U.S. base in Djibouti ... conduct surveillance missions and occasional airstrikes from Somalia's skies. Elite Special Operations forces have also set foot on Somali territory on rare occasions to carry out counterterrorism raids and hostage rescues, but only in the shadows and for no more than a few hours at a time.... The CIA has quietly operated a base in Somalia for years and finances Somali security forces, but largely keeps its activities there under wraps."

Whitlock, Craig. "U.S. Drone Strike in Somalia Targets al-Shabab Leader." Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2014. []

On 2 September 2014, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that on 1 September 2014 "U.S. drones and other aircraft destroyed a suspected al-Shabab compound as well as a vehicle nearby.... Somali officials said the strike took place near the port city of Barawe.... Kirby ... said no U.S. forces were on the ground." Michael Martinez, "Top Somali Militant Killed in U.S. Operation, Pentagon Says," CNN, 5 Sep. 2014, reports that Kirby said on 5 September 2014 that the target of the operation, al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, had been killed in the attack. See also, Luis Martinez and Dana Hughes, "Top Al-Shabab Leader Killed in Airstrike, Pentagon Confirms," ABC News, 5 September 2014.

Whittle, Richard. Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution. New York: Henry Holt, 2014.

Whitlock, Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2014, finds that the author narrates "[t]he unlikely circumstances that led to the birth of the Predator ... in fresh and authoritative detail." His "reporting ... is methodical and credible.... Whittle's best material appears in the final chapters, when he delivers action-packed details about how the CIA and the Pentagon used armed Predators to hunt for al-Qaeda leaders immediately after 9/11."

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