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Somalia: The Center Cannot Hold

Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009

The convergence last week of Secretary Clinton's trip to East Africa and the arrest in Australia of four men with links to the Somali al-Shabab movement on terrorism charges serves to highlight al-Shabab's emergence as an extremist threat. While Secretary Clinton's support of the Somali Transitional Government may delay al-Shabab's rise, 18 years of failed statehood suggest that it is time for the United States and its allies to fundamentally reassess their policy towards Somalia.

Instead of focusing exclusively on the powerless transitional government, Western nations should recognize and support existing institutions in Somalia to halt the advance of al-Shabab within the country, and engage Somalia's neighbors in a productive regional strategy. ...

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