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The Lawfare Podcast: Meanwhile in Somalia with Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt

Jen Patja, Tyler McBrien, Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt
Thursday, March 16, 2023, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With
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As U.S. counterterrorism efforts have waned in Yemen, Libya, and parts of Pakistan, Somalia has emerged as the most active element in the “forever wars” that the U.S. has waged since 9/11, according to Eric Schmitt of the New York Times. Schmitt traveled to Somalia in February for a rare embed with U.S. Special Operations forces on the ground in the midst of a recent offensive launched by the Somali government against a formidable enemy, Al Shabab.

Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Eric and his Times colleague Charlie Savage to discuss the conflict in the Horn of Africa and the extent of U.S. military involvement there. They discussed the roots of the Shabab insurgency, whether or not the current moment marks an inflection point in the fight, the legal grounds on which the U.S. government justifies its campaign, and why the American public and government alike should pay more attention to Somalia.


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Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Tyler McBrien is the managing editor of Lawfare. He previously worked as an editor with the Council on Foreign Relations and a Princeton in Africa Fellow with Equal Education in South Africa, and holds an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago.
Charlie Savage is a Washington correspondent for the New York Times and has been covering post-9/11 legal-policy issues since 2003. He is the author of the books "Power Wars: Inside Obama's Post-9/11 Presidency" and "Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy." He was the recipient of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.
Eric Schmitt is a senior correspondent covering national security for The New York Times.

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