The Real Failed-State Risk

Posted on 22/07/2010


What to do in Somalia? In a thoughtful report, Bronwyn Bruton of the Council on Foreign Relations makes the case for “constructive disengagement.” The idea is to watch the situation carefully for signs of real global terrorism—which so far are limited. Al-Shabab’s “links” with Al Qaeda seem to be mostly rhetoric on both sides. But if they become real and deadly, be willing to strike. This would not be so difficult. Somalia has no mountains or jungles, making it relatively hospitable for counterterrorism operations. Just be careful not to become a player in the country’s internal political dynamics. “We have a limited capacity to influence events in Somalia, to influence them positively,” says Bruton. “But we have an almost unlimited capacity to make a mess of things.”

Fareed Zakaria editor of NEWSWEEK International


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