The endless War on Terror in Somalia, op-ed, ISPI Dossier

Research output: Other contribution


During the last decades, experts and practitioners have frequently described Somalia as the quintessential collapsed state: because of state fragility, Somalia is seen as a reign of anarchy nurturing terrorism. According to this narrative, externally assisted forms of counter-terrorism, peace- and state-building, are the most preferable and feasible solution to the problem of state fragility. Although the validity of the failed state argument and its prescriptions in terms of intervention have been widely questioned, this narrative still informs debates about the necessity of militarized solutions to questions of political violence, failing to grasp the complexity of governance and conflicts existing in reality, as well the dynamic nature of global and regional security imperatives at play. This narrative has re-emerged when in December 2020, former US President Trump announced the withdraw of American troops from Somali soil. Security experts and analysts have interpreted this decision as a risk for Somalia’s precarious political situation and military balance, wishing for Biden’s administration to reconsider the decision. Two problems arise with these assumptions, as the USA is not disengaging, neither the US presence has ever been an element of stability for Somalia.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2021


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