If shoring up the TFG is counterproductive at best, and “constructive disengagement” is impolitic, what should come next?
By Bronwyn Bruton and J. Peter Pham,
Since 2007, al Shabab, an al Qaeda-linked militia, has been locked in a violent stalemate with Somalia’s weak and dysfunctional Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Back in 2009, it was clear that this conflict was far from inevitable: today’s tragedy is a result of a series of bad policy decisions by the United States, regional actors, and the United Nations. And it has been actively sustained by external forces – al Qaeda provided al Shabab funding and tactical expertise while the United States and other countries bolstered the TGF, fueling an unproductive conflict. Somalis in Mogadishu have sometimes characterized the bloody saga as a “diaspora war,” as both sides are at least partially proxies for foreign powers. Continue reading