Diminishing Islamist and Al Qaeda franchise influence in Somalia will only come by growing the influence of secular, non-governmental (if Muslim) Somalis, by finding a way to restart a state school and health care system, and by assisting the drought-prone Somalis with their water (and agricultural and grazing) requirements. In other countries, the United States would extend aid to a government and to NGOs. But Somalia does not work that way. The United States, operating from neighboring Kenya, will have to find clever ways to support new leadership initiatives - another tall order. To do so, it might have to break its connection to the weak current government. It certainly has to distance itself from Ethiopian aspirations in the region.


Rotberg, Robert I. "The US Must Help Rebuild Somalia." Boston Globe, September 19, 2009.