Obama Must Put Lawless Somalia Back on Agenda

US has treated nation as if it doesn't matter ... just like pre-9/11 Afghanistan
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 6, 2008 1:20 PM CST
Ethiopia announced Nov. 28, 2008, that is pulling its forces from Somalia by year's end, leaving the ravaged capital vulnerable to the Islamic militants who have seized nearly all of the country.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – With a government “rotten to the core,” continuing civilian deaths, and burgeoning Islamic extremism that echoes the atmosphere in Afghanistan under the Taliban, it’s time for the US to stop ignoring Somalia, writes Aidan Hartley in Vanity Fair. After two helicopters were shot down there in 1993, the US stopped paying attention. Now, a “balanced, humane policy” is required to restore order.

The US has backed Ethiopian efforts to quell militant activity, but the move has fed an insurgency that has cost some 10,000 civilian lives. Given the world’s limited tolerance for military intervention—if that’s even wise—Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton must seize the chance to spark the diplomatic process, Hartley argues: “It is time we woke up to what else is unfolding in Somalia.”