Insurgency in Somalia

Mortar rounds and rockets slammed into Somalia’s capital early Monday in a series of attacks that killed a six-year-old boy and his father as they slept and wounded at least seven people, witnesses said.

Gee, who could have predicted that. The strategic folly is that now that the US and Ethiopia have intervened so heavily against the Somali Islamists, it probably will become the case that a formerly local conflict takes on more of the aspects of a bin Laden-style global jihad; at least some of the young men who cut their teeth in the Somali insurgency will probably end up moving on elsewhere. Already, destabilization is prompting large, deadly refugee flows. The United States, in our way, has come up with the useful solution that the Transitional Federal Institutions should talk to Sheikh Sharif Ahmed who's believed to be the leader of the more moderate faction of the Islamic Courts Union. Perhaps bringing him on board could generate national reconciliation?

But the TFI Prime Minister wants none of it, counting on the fact that, at the end of the day, the U.S. is going to keep backing him as long as he can describe his adversaries as linked to al-Qaeda.