Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
Now that Somalia's finally gotten our attention, it's worth rereading a piece David Case filed for MoJo in late 2007, after (unlike most of the people who now claim expertise on the subject) actually spending time in the region. At the time, Case was one of the few reporters noting the US role in supporting the Ethiopian invasion, which helped turn a failed state into a full-on war zone:
Somalia may barely register with the American media, but the [post-invasion] bloodshed is a major story on Al Jazeera. Across the Middle East, Somalia is viewed as another hostile front in Bush's war against Islam, says Colin Thomas-Jensen of the Washington-based Enough Project. "In the minds of Muslims, this is the third time the U.S. has supported the toppling of an Islamic government with no political plan for the aftermath, leaving behind chaos."
In other words: Pirates are the least of our problems. Read the whole thing.