NELSON INSTITUTE DIRECTOR’S COLUMN: “ AMERICA’S SOMALI POLICY STILL DANGEROUSLY ADRIFT”

September 8, 2006

HARRISONBURG—In his weekly column for the World Defense Review, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, warns that United States policy towards the threat posed by Islamist radicals who have seized power in large portions of the former Somalia still lacks direction.

According to Dr. Pham, “U.S. policy with regard to the former Somalia since the tragic Operation Restore Hope can be likened to a vessel on an apparently calm sea whose crew let it drift with the currents only to be rudely be awakened by a storm and to find themselves between Scylla and Charybdis. In the current case, the former monster was the failed covert attempt at proxy action via third-rate warlords while the latter sucking whirlpool was the pathetic waste of funds by the corrupt and ineffectual latest in the chain of more than a dozen internationally-recognized ‘governments’ of Somalia. Yet, despite of alarming developments of recent months, the American vessel of state is still dangerously adrift. It is high time that we put an end to the drift and develop a realistic and sustainable policy that can steer us around the shoals of the Horn .”

Dr. Pham’s article, “ America’s Somali Policy Still Dangerously Adrift,” can be accessed online by clicking here.