Somalia

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Snapshot,
Brahma Chellaney

East Africa is one of the world’s most water-stressed regions. Overexploitation of water resources there has been compounded by declining snowpacks on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. In this light, the discovery of two significant aquifers in mostly arid Kenya has been hailed as a potential game changer.

Snapshot,
William McCants

A civil war has broken out within al Qaeda, largely because its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has tried to expand the movement too broadly. As al Qaeda affiliates open new fronts in the global jihad, they often disagree about who should call the shots.

Postscript,
Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens

The recent al Shabab attack on a Nairobi mall might have come as a surprise to Western observers, but it should not have. In form and motivation, the attack mirrored several others in the last few years.

Essay, Jul/Aug 2013
Daniel Byman

The Obama administration relies on drones for one simple reason: they work. Drone strikes have devastated al Qaeda at little financial cost, at no risk to U.S. forces, and with fewer civilian casualties than many alternative methods would have caused.

Essay, Jul/Aug 2013
Audrey Kurth Cronin

Drones are not helping to defeat al Qaeda and may be creating sworn enemies out of a sea of local insurgents. Embracing them as the centerpiece of U.S. counterterrorism would be a mistake.

Snapshot,
Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens

Until recently, experts assumed that al-Shabaab’s recruitment in Kenya was limited to the country’s Somali minority, which numbers roughly a million people. But recent attacks have forced a reassessment; as ex-members testify, now Kenyans are joining up as well.

Snapshot,
Afyare Abdi Elmi and Abdi Aynte

Somalia's government has recently made gains against the militant group al Shabaab. But those will prove fleeting if it does not find a way to address the organization's grievances and bring moderates into the fold.

Snapshot,
Bronwyn Bruton and J. Peter Pham

By some measures, the ad-hoc alliance among Ethiopia, Kenya, and the African Union has come close to defeating the terrorist group al Shabaab. But a military victory could scatter the group's most radical leaders across the Horn of Africa.

Snapshot,
Daniel Branch

Nairobi sent troops into Somalia last month ostensibly to root out Islamist militants. But the real reason Kenya went to war has more to do with the restless ambitions of its own military, which is eager to abandon the country's largely peaceful history.

Letter From,
Mwai Kibaki

The president of Kenya argues that, despite the conflict and famine ravaging Somalia, there is an opportunity for East Africa to escape a regional mess.

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