U.S. Aid and Somalia's Famine and al-Shabab

Here's a short tv piece based on a very interesting conference this past week, in which USAID official Nancy Lindborg was put to the test, and more than once reacted to criticism by talking about "rumors and misperceptions."

Out swinging was Bronwyn Bruton from the Atlantic Council who accused the U.S. government of politicizing aid to the victims of the famine, and not doing enough to really help, constrained by anti al-Sbabab priorities. She suggested using some Africom muscle to actually go into al-Shabab areas and try to help feed people.

John Norris from the Center for American Progress repeatedly made the point that the U.S. has failed in its Somalia policy for years, because despite lots of attention, Somalia remains a basket case of instability and violence. He also made the interesting point that unlike other Africa issues, ie Congo Rape, Darfur, anti-L.R.A, there hasn't really been a groundswell for Somalia outside of the Somali diaspora.

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