Panafrican News Agency

'Failed US military-first strategy harming civilians in Somalia'-Report

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - The U.S. military intervention in Somalia is failing to advance American interests while bringing significant costs for both Somalis and American people, a US think-tank said on Wednesday.

This is contained in a Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft paper titled: "Ending the self-fulfiling counter terrorism prophecy: Aligning our intervention with our interests in Somalia."

Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft is a Washington-based US foreign policy thinktank.

It is authored by Elizabeth Shackelford, a Quincy Institute non-resident fellow and a former State Department diplomat who served in Somalia.

The report calls for a responsible drawdown of the US military engagement and a greater emphasis on diplomacy and development to bolster political stability in Somalia.

Somalia, a Horn of Africa country, has not been stable since the ouster of strongman Siad Barre in 1991.

Competing political interests have not only destabilised the country, but also created room for the formation of the outlawed Islamist militant group, Al Shabaab, which has been responsible for a series of terrorist attacks in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya.

The militants are opposed to the deployment of Kenyan peacekeepers in Somalia under the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Currently serving under AMISOM are troops drawn from Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrean, Kenya and Uganda.

The report said that the US intervention, which began in the mid-2000s, has propped up an ineffective federal government.

However, the intervention has failed to significantly weaken the militant group al-Shabaab.

The report proposes a civilian-led strategy that brings a greater chance of success without the costs and risks associated with military action.

"While our military intervention aims to support progress toward a functioning democracy, it has instead eclipsed the diplomatic and development efforts that might have facilitated those ends,” it said.

-0- PANA DJ/MA 11Nov2020