Thursday, November 3, 2011

The African Fight against Al Shabab

Kenya and Somalia have made an appeal for international assistance against Islamist group Al Shabab. The two governments are seeking international help in executing a naval blockade of Kismayo-whom the group controls and gets half its’ income according to international estimates.

 The three weeks of Kenyan incursions into Somalia have been interesting to say the least. A Kenyan air strike went awry and killed five in a refugee camp. Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating whether a suicide bomber who killed 10 is a U.S. citizen from Minnesota, who called on Muslims to do jihad throughout the world.

Although I’m typically reluctant to commit forces to new combat roles, I don’t know how we avoid providing some assistance if we are serious about fighting terrorism. The large Somali community in Minnesota has already had several members leave to join Al Shabab, calling for jihad where-ever they live.

This changes the conflict from “African” into a matter of global national security. Is NATO in any condition to supply the firepower given Europe’s financial difficulties and the American publics disinterest in another conflict? That is the ultimate question.

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