Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Failed State No. 1

The rescue of Captain Phillips of the Maersk Alabama was both wonderful and an amazing display of marksmanship. Now, however, very good questions are being raised here. They deserve to be addressed, since as is correctly pointed out, the level of violence is likely to escalate.

Beyond these questions, lie even more difficult ones that include policy decisions on how to handle, if at all, the failed state of Somalia. Clearly, foreign assistance to arrest the decline of Somalia is impossible. It is not safe for anyone to be based there for any period of time. But sooner or later, something will need to be done.

Piracy, although a headline grabber, is not the key problem. Although I am sure there are pirates who simply don't care and enjoy their life, how many have been driven to it by the collapse of Somalia as a state. This raises the larger question of true terrorists making Somalia a base of operations because of so many, particularly among the youth, who will be attracted by fundamentalist activities and promises.

So. What must be done?

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