May 22, 2024

US House Rejects Matt Gaetz’s Resolution to Withdraw Troops from Somalia

U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz speaking with attendees at the 2019 Teen Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. Picture: Gage Skidmore
U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz speaking with attendees at the 2019 Teen Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. Picture: Gage Skidmore

The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a resolution on Thursday sponsored by Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida that aimed to withdraw U.S. troops from Somalia. The resolution was defeated in a 102-321 vote, with opponents arguing that removing U.S. troops would jeopardize national security. Gaetz’s War Powers Resolution would have removed around 900 U.S. troops from the African nation.

During the floor debate on the measure, Gaetz argued that U.S. service members in Somalia are not critical to protecting Americans and would not be able to prevent violent confrontations between al-Shabaab militants and the Somali government and civilians. He expressed concern that the continued U.S. presence in Somalia could be counterproductive, as it could lead to the recruitment of terrorists and cost resources that could be directed to other critical areas.

The Florida Republican emphasized that the future of Somalia must be determined by the Somalian people and not by foreign influences. He called for the U.S. military to prioritize its own needs and focus on issues that directly impact Americans.

However, Republican Representative Rich McCormick of Georgia opposed the resolution, arguing that the U.S. military’s presence in Somalia has been a stabilizing force and has prevented attacks on Americans. McCormick emphasized that the U.S. has a responsibility to protect its citizens and defend its interests globally.

The U.S. has had a military presence in Somalia since 1992, with an estimated 7,000 al-Shabaab militants present in the country. The debate highlights the need for a reevaluation of U.S. military presence in foreign countries, particularly in light of ongoing conflicts.

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