House votes against withdrawing troops from Somalia
U.S. forces first entered Somalia in 1992 under President George H.W. Bush.
The House on Thursday voted against withdrawing U.S. forces from Somalia, where U.S. forces have intermittently conducted operations for roughly 30 years.
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz had proposed to withdraw all U.S. troops, save those guarding the embassy, within a one-year timeframe.
Lawmakers, however, rejected the plan in a decisive, 102-321 vote.
Gaetz introduced the bill in late March, saying "[t]he American people have extremely low confidence in our military leaders and their ability to assess their own efficacy. 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 afterwards?"
The Florida Republican previously secured on a vote on withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria, though that measure was also unsuccessful. He recalled that effort while pitching the Somalia withdrawal.
"[A]s Americans become more aware of our country’s military misadventures abroad, the calls to end forever wars are growing," he said. "While the Congressional War Machine has decided to rage on in Syria, they must explain how continuing the occupation of Somalia best serves the interests of the American people at home. If they cannot, it is incumbent upon the Congress to bring our troops home from Somalia."
U.S. forces first entered Somalia in 1992 under President George H.W. Bush amid a civil war. They later went on to fight terrorist group Al-Shabab in the late 2000s and have, more recently, been stationed in Mogadishu, largely in training roles.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.