Webinar: Understanding US Policy in Somalia

Research event Recording
15 July 2020 — 2:30PM TO 3:45PM

Speakers discuss the evolution of US strategy, and how potential shifts could influence future scenarios in Somalia, with implications for federalism, and resolution of the conflict with al-Shabaab.

Successive US administrations have adopted a broadly consistent strategy for engaging with Somalia, principally focused on stabilization and containing al-Shabaab. This approach includes humanitarian assistance, as well as political and security support for Somali institutions and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The Trump administration has increased the number of direct US military operations, most frequently in the form of airstrikes, yet there is little evidence that this is shifting the stalemate with al-Shabaab. With the possible delay of elections planned for late 2020/early 2021 amid ongoing tensions between Somalia’s federal government and regions, there is an opportunity to reassess the merits of US policy and examine a possible realignment of priorities.

This event launches the Chatham House research paper Understanding US Policy in Somalia.


Professor Paul Williams, Professor of International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
Abdi Aynte, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Somalia (2015-17); Co-Founder, Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS)
Susan Stigant, Director of Africa Programs, United States Institute of Peace
Chair: Ahmed Soliman, Research Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House 

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