Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rep. Payne Opposes Sending Troops To Somalia

Rep. Donald Payne, whose plane came under fire from militias as it was leaving Mogadishu, Somalia during the Maersk Alabama standoff, says that sending US troops into Somalia to deal with the pirate threat is a mistake at this time.

No, the real mistake is allowing a failed state to continue being a breeding ground for terrorists who engage in piracy on the high seas and which threatens the stability of nearby countries.

The reason that Ethiopia engaged in the military operations last year was because the Somali thugs decided to attack Ethiopians. Allowing the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) to continue operating with impunity is the wrong way to deal with the situation. Doing nothing, which is tantamount to what Payne proposes, is only going to drag out the problem for years to come.

No one else was willing to send in troops to deal with the ICU. The Ethiopians drove out the ICU for a time, but the Ethiopians didn't stay around to finish the job, so the ICU has come back, in a new iteration - calling itself the Alliance. They're still just as dedicated to imposing Sharia as before, and the pirate threat continues growing with each passing day.

The African Union isn't going to act. Neither is the United Nations. The US could move to act directly, but Payne clearly opposes such a measure at the present time (and that isn't going to change anytime soon since the conditions warranting his change of view aren't going to happen without military intervention). I take this as a sign that the US isn't going to send in troops to deal with the piracy threat anytime soon, nor are they going to engage in military operations to bring an end to the failed state of Somalia's corrosive and destructive effect on the region.

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