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Failing to Understand Somalia

8:25 PM, Dec 19, 2008 • By BILL ROGGIO
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Yglesias is essentially arguing the United States should have allowed the Somali version of the Taliban to take control of Somalia unopposed. We saw what that brought us in 2001.

There should be no doubt the United States encouraged and supported an Ethiopian invasion, but it should be remembered that the UN-backed Somali Transitional Federal Government requested Ethiopian assistance. The failures in Somalia occurred after the invasion. The United States failed to provide minimal support to the Transitional Federal Government. For a small price, perhaps tens of millions of dollars, the United States could have helped prop up the Somali military and police forces, and paid for some basic services. Instead, the U.S. state department and the European Union blocked funding and insisted on negotiations to include the Islamic Courts in the government. This inaction allowed the insurgency to fester.