Coherent Military Operations that can yield a sustainable success against Al Shabab (AS) will only make sense for our local communities, the stability and the national economy of Somalia.
Although, it is widely welcomed the new offensive – joint military operations by the Somali National Army (SNA) and local militia against Al Shabab to liberate villages under Mataban and Mahas districts in Hiiraan region, it has to be noted that only sustainable success can make sense to the local community, the nation and our strategic security partners and our common future strategic interest.
As such, this involves the need to develop a shared purpose, clarity in strategy direction and options to defeat AS; which consequently will compel a broader consultation with all stakeholders including US, EU, ATMIS (African Union Transition Mission in Somalia) and all FMS (Federal Member States) and local community.
Furthermore, we must constantly refresh our knowledge and understanding of strategy, operations and stakeholders by looking from outside at the SNA, US and EU and ATMIS forces, and identifying the challenges, problems and opportunities are necessary to deal with AS.
Without the appropriate strategy, operations and stakeholders’ consultation, it is not possible to achieve efficient strategic thinking, coherence and leadership within all stakeholders. What is required is the engagement with all key strategy stakeholders in relation to the current military operations against Al Shabab. We must know their individual and collective concerns and agenda by providing them opportunity to talk and think freely and expansively about the current strategic situation and our future goals. Thus kick starting the military strategic dialogue which must emphasize effective operational planning, fluid operational management and deployments.
The next step involves establishment of an understanding of the nature of the security ecosystem and how players are co-evolving and competing with each other now and in the future. This will enable us to develop a shared mental models and meaning and undertake collective actions to achieve shared purposes – defeating AS. Shared meaning and value should create and clarify the strategic direction and options should be developed and agreed by all stakeholders.
Joint military operations to liberate villages under Mataban and Mahas Districts from AS couldn’t be translated to a sustainable success, unless well-coordinated and coherent aggressive operations are launched against the terrorists in many fronts across the whole of Somalia. By striking only one area gives AS the possibility to make a shift in their strategic position or potential mobilization of AS operating other regions and their deployment as backup to the target areas to be liberated. Coordinated operations and holistic approach to deal with terrorist across Somalia is the bedrock to achieve and maintain the success we are in pursuit.
Putting in place flexible operational and intelligence frameworks and processes which the stakeholders can spot adjacent possibilities and exploit them before enemy becomes aware of the situation is the bedrock to a sustainable success. Effective and efficient use of available opportunities and mobilization of all key stakeholders and resources through unified coherent efforts and an holistic approach will maximize the potential of defeating our enemy and achieving and maintaining sustainable success for Somalia.
Agile Command and Control Strategy
Enhanced agile command and communication is needed to respond to the emerging terrorists operational patterns. In addition to this, successes achieved and failures must be learned from so we can constantly refine our intelligence, planning and operational deployments to fit requirements of the battlefields of Somalia. Such an holistic approach will accelerate learning capabilities of SNA and its strategic.
Finally, I want to thank the new leadership of Somalia for their commitment in combating AS and liberating Somalia from their curse. I wish total success to SNA and our Strategic Partners.
Major Abdirahman Omar Warsame (Jeeniqaar)