For several months now, Somalia’s piracy problem has been a rather regular feature in the news circuit, sparking Americans’ interest in how the U.S. government will engage with the east African country. Enough’s latest strategy paper, Beyond Piracy: Next Steps in Somalia, analyzes the current situation in Somalia and provides recommendations for how the United States and others can help Somalis address multiple security threats that put their country, the region, and even further-flung countries at risk.
The paper, authored by Ken Menkhaus, John Prendergast, and Colin Thomas-Jensen, argues that while short-term measures to curb pirate attacks are certainly necessary, 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 terrorism.
Here’s a clip:
Somalia has become the poster child for transnational threats emanating from Africa. By sea, pirates much more dangerous than their predecessors from centuries past prowl the Indian Ocean and Red Sea waterways and make tens of millions of dollars in ransom. By land, extremist militias connected to al- Qaeda units ensure that Somalia remains anarchic and the only country in the world without a functioning central government.
In fighting terrorism on land and piracy at sea, U.S. national security interests will be better secured if we aligned ourselves more with the interest of most Somalis in better security and effective governance.