Failed States and Civil Wars: Somalia Essay

Failed States and Civil Wars: Somalia Essay

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Failed States and Civil Wars: Somalia
The history of Somalia is a bloody one, filled with failed occupation, anarchy and civil war. Early Somalia established itself as a merchant state. Its key geographical location by the natural strait between the Horn of Africa and Yemen made it a focal point for trade.This essay will explore the history of internal struggles of the Somalilands and its many wars. It will investigate the colonial influences and conflicts between Somalia and its imperial occupiers and how these influences set the stage for future conflicts between the clans. Also, it will attempt to define the reasons why Somalia has become a failed state. The importance of United States foreign policies will be discussed as they have yet to build a reliable government and what, if anything, can be done to resolve the problems that have plagued Somalia for centuries. Lastly, the growing problem of piracy and terrorism in the region will be covered.

Somalia: A History of Turmoil
In order to understand current Somali conflict, one must explore its violent history. Prior to nineteenth century European infiltration, the continent of Africa comprised informal, state-less societies. Many of these groups were ruled by heads of tribes or clan-families, which offered the only semblance of government. Those regions that were not under any type of rule, defaulted to anarchical communal groups of hunter gatherers. Tribal conflicts and territorial disputes were typically resolved by shows of force. This collection of informal systems lasted until trade brought the other continents on to Africa. Trade along coastal Africa brought with it contact with other cultures. Persian, Arab and European merchants capitalized on the bountiful slave...


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• Coyne, Christopher J."Reconstructing Weak and Failed States: Foreign Intervention and the Nirvana Fallacy." Foreign Policy Analysis 2.4 (2006): 343-60. CSA Worldwide Political Science Abstracts. CSA. 10 Mar. 2010

• Metz, Helen Chapin et al.“ Somalia : A Country Study “4th ed. Federal Research Divsion, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540


• Pham, J. Peter, “Do Not Resuscitate” The National Interest, No. 94 Mar/Apr. (2008)


• Raffaelli, Mario."The EU in Somalia: Furthering Peacemaking and Reconciliation." The International Spectator 42.1 (2007): 121-7. CSA Worldwide Political Science Abstracts. CSA. 10 Mar. 2010 .

• Stevenson, Johnathan,"The Somali Model?" The National Interest, No. 90 Jul./Aug. (2007).

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