What to Do in Somalia
Ismail Taxta / Courtesy Reuters
Embroiled in violence and famine, Somalia is a perennially failed state. The expert articles found here offer insight and open the discussion on what actions can be taken to address the multitude of challenges that Somalia faces.
In the Foreign Affairs Snapshot: “Engage the Players on the Ground,” Bronwyn Bruton and J. Peter Pham make the claim that the void left by the radical group al Shabaab should be filled by an array of actors — governmental entities, regional authorities, clans, and civil society organizations – who can help.
In a letter from Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki entitled “Africa Could be Opening a New Chapter,” the President explains how to move East Africa forward by arguing that, despite the conflict and famine ravaging Somalia, there is an opportunity for East Africa to escape a regional mess.
In Walter Clarke and Jeffrey Herbst’s essay “The Lessons of Somalia,” the pair use the Somali intervention of 1993 as a peacekeeping lesson for helping to rebuild failed states. In it, they argue that “no large intervention, military or humanitarian, can remain neutral or assuredly brief in a strife-torn failed state. Nation-building, the rebuilding of a state’s basic civil institutions, is required in fashioning a self-sustaining body politic out of anarchy. In the future, the United States, the United Nations, and other intervenors should be able to declare a state “bankrupt” and go in to restore civic order and foster reconciliation.” With Somalia now widely considered to be the world’s most failed state, this article is as relevant today as the day it was written.