Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in Eastern Africa that borders the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and neighbors Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. For years, Somalia has been plagued with poverty, famine, violence, and insurgency within its borders. As this country moves forward, its foreign relations, security, and economic growth will play key factors in its future. In order for these factors to flourish, the current threats to the country must be eliminated, or at a minimum, suppressed. Unfortunately, the same threats that Somalia faces also present a threat to neighboring countries and countries in other parts of the world.
A significant threat to the country of Somalia is the al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist organization known as al-Shabaab. This group is known for using guerrilla warfare and terrorist tactics against the Somali Federal Government (SFG), African Union Mission in Somalia peacekeepers (AMISOM), and nongovernmental aid organizations. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for bombings and various types of suicide attacks in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and in central and northern Somalia (The National Counterterrorism Center). They continue to conduct indirect assaults and asymmetric tactics, as well as claim credit for attacks in Kenya, the country that assisted Somalia in attacks against the terror group in 2011 (U.S. Department of State, 2013). The Westgate Shopping Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya has been one of their more recent and prestigious attacks that gained media attention. This attack demonstrated the capabilities of the group’s elite “Suicide Brigade”, and indicated potential consequences for any country that attempts to attacks them in Somalia (AFP, 2013). In addition, it has been reported that the organization strictly enforces Sharia Law in all areas under its control. Video documentation also reveals that al-Shabaab law enforcement walks a beat and forces the local populace within their area of control to attend prayer sessions at the closest mosque (Osman, 2013).
With al-Shabaab taking refuge and training in Somalia, they will bring a drawn-out conflict to the country. As al-Shabaab continues to conduct attacks in other areas of the world, the world has little choice but to bring the fight to al-Shabaab strongholds. This conflict could bring further instability to the country of Somalia by causing the populace to lose faith in its current government structure. As a result, a state of constant violence, famine, and even death could emerge. While the victim countries of al-Shabaab terrorist attacks, SFG, African Union, and the UN (funding and support provided by United States and Britain) decide to take the fight to Somalia, it could indicate the common picture seen by many in the middle east of a western invasion and occupation (Jorgic, 2014). As a follow-on to the perception of a western invasion and occupation, the Somali locals that the UN have attempted to...