The Perils of Intervening in Somalia

What a military intervention in Somalia might mean for the US, here’s Nicole Stremlau writing in the Huffington Post:

The current attention on Somalia’s pirates and thereports of youth from Minnesota traveling to Somalia to fight in the jihad forces us to focus on a country that the US often ignores. The challenge is that no one really knows what to do to help foster peace or how to do it. And while there are plenty of ideas, there is little consensus from Somalis.

Americans may remember Black Hawk Down, but for Somalis the events that brought further violence in 2006 and 2007 are fresher. In 2006, America backed warlords on surprisingly uninformed intelligence. And as this strategy appeared to be failing, the US helped Somalia’s long-time nemesis, Ethiopia, to oust the popular leader of the Islamic Courts Union, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, accusing him of being too radical. The same Sheikh Sharif is now president of Somalia after his predecessor, Abdullahi Yusuf, proved unable to create a viable government.

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