Tuesday, March 9, 2010

US Support to Somali Forces

This story ran in the New York Times this weekend (and I'm late in posting about it)--it explains current US support to Somalia.

The interesting part starts with this:
But it seems there has been a genuine shift in Somali policy, too, and the Americans have absorbed a Somali truth that eluded them for nearly 20 years: If Somalia is going to be stabilized, it is going to take Somalis.

“This is not an American offensive,” said Johnnie Carson, the assistant secretary of state for Africa. “The U.S. military is not on the ground in Somalia. Full stop.”

He added, “There are limits to outside engagement, and there has to be an enormous amount of local buy-in for this work.”

The article then goes on to discuss an upcoming offensive to help the Transitional Federal Government take full control of Mogadishu and concomitant work to provide food and other essential assistance to Somalis. So here are my questions--how different are these efforts? Is it a cosmetic thing or is it really being done differently?

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