Friday, September 2, 2016

US Policy in Somalia Has Failed?

World Politics Review published on 2 September 2016 a commentary titled "America's Approach to Somalia Has Failed. It Now Has Two Options" by Steven Metz.

The author argues that Washington and its international partners have not found a way to deal with al-Shabaab's deep roots in Somali society; its appeal to angry young men; the ineffectiveness, corruption and competing loyalties of the Somali political elite and security forces; and concerns from neighboring states about extremism growing from the inability of the Somali government and security forces to control all of their territory.

The author suggests for the United States there are only two possible futures in Somalia. Washington and its partners can exercise influence through clan-based power structures, recognizing that while this may prevent al-Shabaab from outright victory, it is likely to tie America to some unsavory Somali characters and actions or the United States can simply disengage altogether. He adds that neither option is desirable, but all indications are that they are the only viable ones.

My question is why is either of these options any better than current U.S. policy in Somalia?

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