In 1993 the US lead a massive armed task force to Somalia on a UN mission to smash warlords. The dominate force were Americans, these forces faced disaster. There was a film made of this event, it was called Black Hawk Down. In 2006 the US is backing the same warlords who defeated them (1 ).
Somalia has had a history with terror groups. The Bush administration remembering the US 1993 humanitarian intervention, did want a military intervention to hunt for terrorist. The CIA paid Somali warlords to hunt down al-Qaeda operatives. The warlords didn't catch too may terrorist and it seem to make matters worse in Somalia (2 ).
Part of the problem of paying the warlords, the effect has been to empower the same groups it intended to marginalize. The payments have caused a resurgence of Islamic Militia inside Ethiopia (3 ).
Interloping for good or Bad?
For the past few years the Ethiopian backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has been battling the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) for control of Somalia. The ICU was on the way of unifying Somalia before the TFG invasion overthrew the government. President Bush administration with logistical information, because the Bush administration believed the ICU is tied to al Qaeda (4 ).
A report from Human Rights Watch asked, the USA and the European Union, and other major powers redefine their flawed approach to the crisis in Somalia. They demanded greater accountability for the offenders, who were on both sides, and claimed they do more damage to Civilians than each other (5 ).
Ethiopia took strong exception to the accusations against its troops A spokesmen for the Ethiopian government Wahde Belay said "Almost all crimes in this report are committed by al-Shabab. I can talk with pride that our military is one of the most disciplined in the continent. Saying this, if there are credible allegations about any abuses by our forces in Somalia, we are ready to look into the details. But this report by Human Rights Watch is a politically-motivated one,"(6 ).
The environment that allows Somali Piracy can be traced back the Somalia government in 1991. a "humanitarian intervention" intervention that cost 2 billion which 90 percent went to military aid (7 ).
Piracy in the Gulf of Aden has increased 75 percent over 2007. the actual number of attacks is unknown, it is projected that 90% of pirate attacks go unreported. The industry loses up to a projected 20 billion due to piracy a year (8 ).
Who makes money on Somali piracy? Andrew Mwangura, of the Seafarers' Assistance Program said "The pirates are earning millions of dollars. A lot of that is invested in businesses in the United Arab Emirates and Kenya, but a lot is also funding the fighters on both sides - government officials, warlords, and Islamists are all getting their share,"(9 ).
A Pirate can earn just over 29,500.00 (USD) for a two ransom payouts, and they usually hope this is enough to get asylum in the west (10 ).
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said about Somali piracy "It's a complex problem, and I think it involves both a maritime aspect that involves enforcement and a kinetic aspect," and added "But I think until we can do something to provide some kind of stability on land and some prospects for these people, it's going to be a tough problem.". Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff "It's not just a military solution here," (11 ).
Others agree there is no military solution to Somalia pirate problem according to a maritime analyst with London's Chatham House think tank Roger Middleton he said "You cannot hope to tackle piracy in any kind of serious way without any kind of change on the ground in Somalia," and "This is not started on the ocean, and it's not a problem that can be solved on the ocean." (12 ).
Researcher on the Horn of Africa at the Institute for Security Studies in Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa Paula Roque said "While it is true that Al Qaeda has penetrated into parts of Somalia, it is another thing altogether to prove a link between piracy and Al Qaeda,". She continued "For the pirates, it is in their interests to have money and it is in their interests to have prisoners captured by the French to be released. This is an economic decision." (13 ).
The Somali group al-Shabaab is planning to merge with al-Qaida according to Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Maples (14 ).
In 2010 the UN was critical of the USA policy that restricts humanitarian aid to Somalia. The US withheld millions in aid they felt was being diverted to al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab. The UN said they have seen no evidence of such a diversion (15 ).
But a Somali Islamic leader Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys denied links to al-Qaeda and said Bin Laden should stay out of Somali affairs. He also said "We know that bin Laden has his own problems in the mountainous area of Tora Bora where he is hiding, so he has no place making such statements at a time when Somalia is keen to emerge from 21 years violence," (16 ).
The Somali cabinet voted to make the Shariah law in Somalia. This in the hope it will help end insurgent attacks (17 ).
Bringing a ax to a gunfight?
Danish police shot a wounded a man who tried to kill the man who drew a cartoon of prophet Muhammad that outraged Muslims across the globe. A police spokesman said "[The authorities] found a person and he attacked the police with an axe and a knife. He was shot in the leg and the hand and he is in hospital [now],"(18 ).
The attacker has links to al-Qaida and the attack brought condemnation from Denmark's moderate Muslims, such as "The Danish Muslim Union strongly distances itself from the attack and any kind of extremism that leads to such acts," (19 ).