Little to Gloat About

By Vanda Felbab-Brown

Vanda Felbab-Brown is a Senior Fellow in the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Felbab-Brown is the author of the forthcoming books, The Extinction Market: Wildlife Trafficking and How to Counter It and Militants, Criminals, and Warlords: The Challenge of Local Governance in an Age of Disorder (with Harold Trinkunas and Shadi Hamid).

April 2 marked one year since the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab attacked the Garissa University in Kenya and killed 148 people, galvanizing Kenya to intensify its counterterrorism efforts. Yet al-Shabaab’s operational capacities and intimidation power have grown in the past year. Many of Kenya’s counterterrorism policies have been counterproductive, and counterinsurgency efforts by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have at best stagnated. State building in Somalia is only creeping, with service-delivery by the federal government and newly formed states mostly lacking. Politics continues to be clan-based, rapacious, and discriminatory, with the forthcoming 2016 elections in Somalia thus far merely intensifying political infighting.

Al-Shabaab: A Rejuvenation

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