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Somalia is a comprehensively failed state, representing a threat to itself, its neighbors, and the wider world. In recent years, it has become notorious for the piracy off its coast and the rise of Islamic extremism, opening it up as a new "southern front" in the war on terror. At least that is how it is inevitably presented by politicians and in the media. In Getting Somalia Wrong?,Mary Harper presents the first comprehensive account of the chaos into which the country has descended and the United States' renewed involvement there. In doing so, Harper argues that viewing Somalia through the prism of al-Qaeda risks further destabilizing the country and the entire Horn of Africa, while also showing that though the country may be a failed state, it is far from being a failed society. In reality, alternative forms of business, justice, education, and local politics have survived and even flourished. Provactive and eye-opening, Getting Somalia Wrong?shows that until the international community starts to "get it right," the consequences will be devastating, not just for Somalia but for the world.
Mary Harper is a BBC journalist specializing in Africa. She has reported from Somalia since the outbreak of civil war in 1991 and from other war zones across Africa, including Sudan, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has written for several publications including The Economist and The Washington Post.
Table of Contents
Introduction * Chapter 1 - The Clans * Chapter 2 - A Failed State? * Chapter 3 - Somali Islamism * Chapter 4 - Money and Power * Chapter 5 - Regional Politics * Chapter 6 - Somalia and the World * Conclusion