Clinton, while lambasting supposed spoilers blocking progress, ignored the Western intervention that has devastated Somalia for decades
“The position of the United States is straightforward: attempts to obstruct progress and maintain the broken status quo will not be tolerated,” Clinton told a one-day gathering in London of about 40 African, Arab and Western leaders and government ministers. Her words were largely aimed at the Islamic militant group al-Shabab. Al-Shabab, the largest militant faction in the nation, rejected the conference, warning that the international intervention would prolong instability in the region.
But “progress” certainly doesn’t refer to anything the U.S. has been pushing in Somalia. The U.S. is giving weapons, intelligence, and legitimacy to thugs and murderous warlords in Somalia, some of whom used to be fighters for the very militants the U.S. now has them fighting against. The U.S. has also backed African Union troops and the Kenyan military in their fight against al-Shabab.
In a recent piece in Foreign Affairs published only a matter of days before al-Qaeda officially announced a merger with al-Shabab, professor of international affairs at Qatar University Afyare Abdi Elmi and journalist Abdi Aynte argued “military involvement in Somalia has been counterproductive.”
Clinton also threatened to push for “a more permanent diplomatic presence in Somalia” once security improved. But for a tribal society that has largely been defined by driving out abusive intruders, that is unlikely to improve the situation.
with Jason Ditz