Somalia: Too Big a Problem to Fail?

As Hillary Clinton was holding talks with Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed today in Nairobi, Kenya — Mogadishu being far too dangerous for a U.S. secretary of state to visit — Somalia itself stood once again at a violent crossroads.

A loose alliance of hard-line Islamist groups, some with links to al Qaeda, controls most of the countryside and has pushed Somalia’s internationally backed, but institutionally feeble, Transitional Federal Government (TFG) out of all but a few enclaves in the capital, Mogadishu (the New York Times reported Thursday that Sheikh Sharif’s government controls "no more than a few city blocks").
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