In May, Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken was killed in a raid on a terrorist compound in Somalia. He was the first US service member to die in combat in the Horn of Africa nation since the infamous Black Hawk Down incident in 1993, when 18 Americans were killed.
That disaster played a significant role in minimizing US involvement in Africa in the years that followed, affecting then-President Bill Clinton’s decision not to intervene in the Rwandan genocide. But the rise of Somalia-based terror group al-Shabab in the late 2000s has made the Horn of Africa an important front in the war on terror, and US forces are very much a presence in Somalia once again. This time, though, to look around, you wouldn’t really know it.
Decades of war have pummelled the once-stunning capital city of Mogadishu, where despite a new government and relative stability, periodic hit-and-run attacks by al-Shabab keep residents on edge.