Falling Short of Security in Somalia

Drawing upon a number of interviews conducted with serving and former UK and EU military personnel and round-table material, this briefing by Emily Knowles examines the international involvement in military operations to counter Al-Shabaab.

Somalia should serve as a cautionary example of the difficulties of an approach that is becoming popular in Western capitals – working by, with, and through local troops to confront terrorist groups. The success of light-footprint remote warfare requires strong local buy-in, effective ground forces, and careful international support. Current signs suggest that the anti-al-Shabaab operations have fallen short on each of these key criteria.

This report was first published by Oxford Research Group as part of their Remote Warfare Programme.