So now, according to CNN, the US and various others are now talking about paying for an African Union peacekeeping force for Somaila. They just had some wanker on talking about how Somalia is a place where children don’t got to school, they join militias, where there’s no law and order, where “there’s been too much chaos for too long.”
Gee, fifteen years of it and only now they notice.
Of course, this “Islamic Court Union” seems to be the cause of all this new concern. As long as Somalia was a non-sectarian disaster area, or as long as it was merely unpleasant warlords in charge, it was just too hard to try to fix any of the country’s problems. But if an organization that claims adherence to a religion takes over, well, then we have to do something.
There’s a reasonable case for saying that outside intervention in Somalia is a bad idea – it hasn’t worked really well in the past. And, there’s a reasonable case for intervening on humanitarian grounds – the country really is an awful mess. But I really don’t see how there’s more of an argument for intervention today than there was a year ago. If anything, there’s a better argument against inteverntion. This “Islamic Court Union” seems to be relatively competent at reinstalling law and order, and has not so far (at least to the best of my knowledge) started chopping off hands or forcing women to wear burkas. In that part of the world, that may well be the best realizable outcome. The locals seem to prefer it to the US-backed association of local warlords the ICU displaced.