|Flickr/IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation/TURKEY|
To my mind, this strategy has a major flaw. While there are many points of leverage for dealing with the TFG, which is not the primary problem, there are very few for dealing with al-Shabaab. I don’t know of any nation state that has any leverage over al-Shabaab. While there are a few Islamic NGOs that are engaging with al-Shabaab, none has any real influence with the extremist group. Individual Somali business persons do have some leverage and perhaps a small number of foreign Islamic religious figures and scholars could influence al-Shabaab, but the United States is in a weak position to organize these forces into a diplomatic surge and I doubt that these limited points of leverage constitute a surge in any event.
You may have a different reaction to the policy brief so I suggest you read Menhhaus’ full report.