U.S. Deploying Up To 500 Soldiers To Somalia To Establish 'Persistent Presence'

The United States is deploying up to 500 soldiers to Somalia, Africa in order to establish "persistent presence" there in order to combat the increasing terrorist activity in the country by a branch of Al Qaeda called Al-Shabaab.

A senior administration official said that "Fewer than 500" U.S. soldiers that are currently already stationed in nearby countries will be transported to Somalia over time as conditions allow for intelligent and secure implementation.

The official said that Al-Shabaab is now a notable priority for the U.S. counterterrorism mission and has become Al Qaeda's "largest and wealthiest global affiliate". They said the group has also "ability and intent to target Americans in the region".

On Monday Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby spoke to reporters and said that a permanent presence is the best option in order to counter the persistent threat from Al-Shabaab as it eliminates the training disruption and time expended on "constant coming and going".

Kirby also said that this is "not a deployment with an end date" and said that it is instead just a "change of posture" and that "It will allow us to do a better, more consistent job".