Guy Taylor from World Politics Review interviews me for his Trend Lines column on the escalating conflict in Somalia:
The announcement this week of a Somali terror suspect’s transfer to U.S. federal court came just after reports of the U.S. drone war’s expansion into Somalia.
Both developments highlight the growing U.S. counterterrorism interest in Somalia and raise questions about how it might be expected to impact the country’s 20-year-old civil war.
“American strategy in Somalia has not always matched up with the reality on the ground, and at the moment the reality is shifting very quickly there,” says David Axe, an independent correspondent and World Politics Review contributor who has reported from Somalia.
A leading concern for the U.S. is the link between al-Qaida in Yemen and Somalia’s al-Shabaab organization — a self-proclaimed al-Qaida supporter and the main Islamic group fighting against the U.S.-backed Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu.
While the extent of the link between the two groups is the subject of debate, Axe reminded Trend Lines on Thursday that its existence “is something al-Shabaab has said itself, so it’s not really a secret.”