"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


your tax dollars at work

"I told you so" is such an ugly thing to say, but, well, U.S. policy makers should've seen this one coming from a mile away:
"The weapons that the US government donated to the Somalia's Transitional Federal Government is [sic] being sold in the market, according to a trader who asked Garowe Online to be quoted anonymously."
Granted, reliable information about anything that happens in Somalia is hard to come by, all the more so given that this involves what happens in a Mogadishu market. But Garowe Online is a fairly slick operation, so much so that AllAfrica.com picks up its stories, and the fact that the source required anonymity suggests that there just might be something to it.

Moreover, anyone who's been to a failed state knows that the trade in light arms is always vigorous and that items intended for humanitarian and/or official military purposes are very frequently available for sale in markets, restaurants, and upmarket hotels. Thanks to some very poor decision making on somebody's part, the United States government may now be indirectly supplying weapons to an al Qaeda affiliate.

What I can't figure out is who is calling the shots on this. There are people in the Obama administration with enough experience in Africa to know that the law of unintended consequences almost always takes over when it comes to the Horn. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess that sending 40 tons of weapons to an army that can't wrest control its own capitol city from an Islamist insurgency might not work out the way we planned. What were they thinking?


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