Despite the ouster of the Islamist militia last month, stability in Somalia remains elusive. Its leaders must decide whether to reconcile or return to warlordism.
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.
Terrence Lyons, associate professor at George Mason University and an expert on conflict resolution, discusses the conflict in Somalia and its implications for the Horn of Africa.
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.
A long-simmering Ethiopia-Eritrea border conflict threatens the entire Horn of Africa, as troop deployments and other actions by the two rivals continue to fuel Somalia’s internal power struggle.
The United States has proposed a UN Security Council resolution calling for a regional peacekeeping force to bring stability to Somalia, but some experts say such a resolution might achieve precisely the opposite.
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.
The conflict between Somalia’s weak interim government and an increasingly powerful Islamist faction simmered all summer. But Ethiopia’s military incursion into the shattered country has raised the stakes.
With Islamic courts firmly in control of Somalia's capital, experts worry that a new Taliban may be emerging in the Horn of Africa.
A group of Islamist courts have seized power across much of Somalia. Many outside observers are anxiously watching—and interfering—as the power struggle plays out between the Islamists and the official government.
The United States lists Somalia as a haven for terrorists, and indeed, evidence suggests terrorists are using the fractured state as an operational hub. Yet Somalia's current links to terrorism are tiny in comparison to the potential problem the country poses.
For over a decade Somalia has been a fractured state providing refuge for international terrorists. Intense fighting on the streets of Mogadishu in recent weeks has renewed fears that Somalia could pose an even greater regional threat.
A CIA map shows the areas occupied by Somalia's clans and subclans.
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.
The mistakes of the U.S. intervention in Somalia should not obscure its successes: a humanitarian tragedy was averted, and the political landscape was improved.
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