By Wayne Downing-General US. Army (retired), Distinguieshed Chair Combating Terrorism Center US Military Academy
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Extra resources for Al-Qaida's MisAdventures in the Horn of Africa
At present, the TFG’s prospects do not look good. But even in a best-case scenario, the TFG will possess only modest and loose control over the country. For the next several years, Somalia will remain a de facto collapsed state. Governance without Government. Contrary to much of what is written in the popular press, the prolonged collapse of central government has not led to complete anarchy. Important changes have occurred since the early 1990s in the nature of armed conflict, governance and lawlessness, rendering the country less anarchic than before.
S. toward Sudan. In this sense, Somalia is a subsidiary priority for al-Qa’ida–the main objective is to thwart a dangerous precedent of American armed intervention in the Horn which could endanger al-Qa’ida’s base in Sudan. Ironically, Somalia was a subsidiary priority for the United States as well, which intervened in Somalia, according to then Acting Secretary of State Larry Eagleburger, “because it wasn’t Bosnia”–in other words, to set a precedent for robust UN peace enforcement in a place where it appeared doable.
One area where al-Qa’ida was successful was in recruiting some youth away from clans in 1993 and 1994. There are three reasons for this success. First, the call to jihad resonated more with younger individuals seeking adventure. Secondly, the costs for youth to leave the clan were markedly smaller than for more elder individuals. The longer one has been in a tribe or clan, the more benefits, tangible and intangible, the clan member gains from remaining in the tribe. Recognizing the vulnerability of the youth to recruitment techniques, al-Qa’ida sought “to establish a coordination and communications center to connect the youth in the different areas in and out of the country….