Somali Narcotics Trade: A 12-Month Outlook


    During Operation Gothic Serpent, US Special Forces operators discovered that Somali insurgents needed several hits from 5.56 NATO standard rounds to neutralize them. Consequently, the military contracted the development of the .458 SOCOM round. This significantly enhanced the stopping power and muzzle velocity of the M4 Carbine [source]. The chewing of the drug known as Khat, a prevalent practice among Somali insurgents, played a role in their ability to endure multiple hits from 5.56 rounds and remain functional. Khat decreases appetite and raises pain thresholds, making it a prominent feature of the Somali drug trade. However, this does not imply the absence of other narcotics trafficking networks in Somalia. 

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    Alec Smith
    Alec Smith
    Alec Smith is a graduate of the MSC International Relations program of the University of Aberdeen and holds an LLB in Global Law from Tilburg University. He works in the private sector in field investigations and security.

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