An army is tasked to defend state frontiers, not fight insurgents and maintain public order because the collateral damages are too huge to use the national army that way. Public resentment would be too condemning to afford, if the army is utilized that way and the very exercise defeats the whole purpose for creating the army.
A country infested with extremists and terrorists like Somalia need well trained security and intelligence units to hunt down radicalists and eliminate their cells in urban setting and a mobile, well equipped police forces.
These forces should be drawn from all regions of Somalia to undergo intensive security training for the state to unleash a cambination of intelligence gathering and lethal force to eradicate terrorism and their sources of support in fighting men and finance.
Farmaajo rhetoric on his obsession in building a strong army out of former militia of Al-shabab, clans and defunct Union of Islamic Courts is wrong-headed to the extreme.
One would suffice to ask President Farmaajo the question: What is the mission of the armed forces he is hell-bent building it? Why so many men are being collected from the vicinities of Mogadishu to send them overseas military training? Are they being trained to fight Al-Shabab, maintain public order, defend our porous borders or overthrow Federal Member States in the regions? Is that the normal assignment of a national army?
Somalia needs different types of security forces to stabilize at least Mogadishu. The time has not come yet to build a military without a national mission. Instead, any Somali government should mind eliminating the sources of instabilities and resistance to state-building now. That could be achieved through adequately vetted, all-inclusive and highly specialized intelligence, security and police forces.
It is now obvious to all that foreign troops like the type of AMISOM are ineffective in urban warfare with local and home-grown extremist fighters as it turned out to be a waste of resources, including time and developing meaningful strategy to stabilize the country.
Don’t be surprised to see in the foreseeable future a newly trained in Turkey Al-shabab Somali fighter-pilot hovering over Villa Somalia and Mogadishu as his bombing targets. That is literally the Somali National Army President Farmaajo is trying to create.
Historically, the Army was the leading factor for the collapse of the First Somali Republic. Unlike Farmaajo and Khayre, we ought to learn from history.