22 December 2009

Somali Stability

Looks like Somalia will stay pretty damn unstable for even longer.

Not that I have any love whatsoever for al-Shabab, but I'm starting to think that someone being able to put Somalia back together would be a humanitarian triumph. However, when the factions of al-Shabab cannot even get it together, it looks like the world is stuck with more fighting for quite awhile.

That said, this also could end up being the lost chance of 2006 again. If the international community (not the US alone) can get Robow to defect and join the TFG (perhaps by offering him either the presidency or vice-presidency or whatever; it'll be a step up for him from where he is) and denounce Godane, a real popular front against "foreign fighters" could be accomplished.

In particular, since an attack on a university graduation, al-Shabab has been losing legitimacy. Robow could use this (and the foreign fighters who perpetrated it) as the excuse he would need to leave without losing his own legitimacy. Alternately, he could just create a "real Shabab" to fight against the official structure, and make an alliance with the TFG to do that.

This could also help get the AU off the hook, as they've been hurting trying to help there.

Would a Somalia led by a hardline al-Shabab leader be the best choice? No, but just like the ICU before it, it may be the least bad, particularly if it can remove AQ from the area. Let's hope we don't make the same mistakes of 3 years ago in our anti-terrorist zeal.

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