Somalia

Foreign Affairs Article

Why Drones Work

Author: Daniel Byman

The Obama administration relies on drones for one simple reason: they work. Drone strikes have devastated al Qaeda at little financial cost, at no risk to U.S. forces, and with fewer civilian casualties than many alternative methods would have caused.

See more in Somalia; Pakistan; Yemen; Drones

Foreign Affairs Article

Somalia and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention

Authors: Walter Clarke and Jeffrey Herbst

The intervention in Somalia was not an abject failure; an estimated 100,000 lives were saved. But its mismanagement should be an object lesson for peacekeepers in Bosnia and on other such missions. No large intervention, military or humanitarian, can remain neutral or assuredly brief in a strife-torn failed state. Nation-building, the rebuilding of a state's basic civil institutions, is required in fashioning a self-sustaining body politic out of anarchy. In the future, the United States, the United Nations, and other intervenors should be able to declare a state "bankrupt" and go in to restore civic order and foster reconciliation.

See more in Somalia; Humanitarian Intervention

Analysis Brief

U.S. Strikes Somalia

A U.S. air strike in Somalia may mark the return of a robust U.S. military presence in the Horn of Africa. Though aimed at al-Qaeda operatives within Somalia, the U.S. action could reverberate throughout the region.

See more in Terrorism; Somalia

Analysis Brief

Morass in Somalia Deepens

Ethiopian troops appear to have won a military victory over Somalia's Islamic Courts militias, who fled Mogadishu Thursday. Their exit leaves a power vacuum in Somalia, and the United States’ focus on counterterrorism in the Horn of Africa may hinder its ability to defuse the crisis.

See more in Wars and Warfare; Somalia

Analysis Brief

Somalia Exporting Discord?

A new UN report details a complex and troubling exchange that allegedly provided weapons to Somalia’s Islamist power brokers in exchange for dispatching Islamist commandos to Hezbollah and opening Somali uranium mines to Iran.

See more in Iran; Somalia; Lebanon; Terrorism