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Author: Ken Menkhaus

Somalia: What to Expect of the London Conference and Beyond

Somalia: What to Expect of the London Conference and Beyond
The February 23 “London Conference”—with representatives from over 50 countries, the U.N., key regional organizations, the Somali Transitional Federal Government, and most of the largest Somali regional administrations and movements—is the subject of considerable anxiety, skepticism, and hope among Somalis. It is widely seen as a critical moment in Somalia’s long 20-year crisis, a meeting that could shape the direction of the country in the coming years, for better or for worse ...
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After the Kenyan Intervention in Somalia

After the Kenyan Intervention in Somalia
If the first decade of the new millennium bears a single enduring political lesson, it is this: Intervention strategies that plan the war but not the peace will fail. Indifference to or wishful thinking about the crafting of a post-intervention political order guarantees disorder, and can leave both the occupied country and the intervening power worse off than before ...
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A Thousand Fatwas for Somalia

A Thousand Fatwas for Somalia
One of the latest outrages by the Somali jihadist group al-Shabaab – a truck bombing in Mogadishu that killed more than 100 people, targeting students lined up for news about scholarships to Turkey – has produced condemnation from the United Nations, Western states, the Somali Transitional Federal Government, or TFG, and Somali civic groups. That makes no difference at all ...
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A Diplomatic Surge to Stop Somalia’s Famine

A Diplomatic Surge to Stop Somalia’s Famine
Somalia is dying. Three-quarters of a million people are at immediate risk of famine; another 750,000 are refugees in neighboring countries, and 4 million – half the total population – is in need of emergency aid ...
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Beyond Piracy: Next Steps to Stabilize Somalia

Beyond Piracy: Next Steps to Stabilize Somalia
The Obama administration must not allow the politics of the piracy problem to distract it from putting in place a long-term strategy to help Somalis forge a state that, with measured external support, can fight piracy, promote peace and reconciliation, and combat the threat of terrorism within its borders ...
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Somalia After the Ethiopian Occupation: First Steps to End the Conflict and Combat Extremism

Somalia After the Ethiopian Occupation: First Steps to End the Conflict and Combat Extremism
President Barack Obama has inherited a dangerous and fast-moving crisis in Somalia—one with profound implications for regional and international security. While some within the new administration will be tempted to continue to place short-term counterterrorism goals ahead of a more comprehensive strategy approach as was done during the Bush administration, the shortcomings of this approach are abundantly clear: violent extremism and anti-Americanism are now rife in Somalia due in large part to the blowback from policies that focused too narrowly on counterterrorism objectives. The new U.S. national security team must make a clean break by defining and implementing a long-term ...
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Somalia: A Country in Peril, a Policy Nightmare

Somalia: A Country in Peril, a Policy Nightmare
This is the first of two Enough strategy papers on Somalia by Ken Menkhaus, a professor at Davidson College and a specialist on the Horn of Africa. Based on recent field research, the first half of this report provides an analysis of the current crisis in Somalia. The second half critically examines why international policies toward Somalia have produced disastrously unintended results, and makes an urgent case for a review of those policies. A follow-up report will explore options and make recommendations for a new, more effective, international approach to Somalia ...
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