Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Al-Shabaab and ISIS - A Comparison by Clint Watts

Having written about so-called "unlit spaces" such as Somalia, I found this prescient article by Clint Watts in the World Politics Review as an interesting comparative analysis between al-Shabaab and ISIS. One of the key distinctions I have made about unlit spaces is their condition of governance. It is an important element in determining the nature of what makes a particular area necessarily void of development. One of the problems with al-Shabaab and the idea of governance my groups like them, is that they fail to provide a reliable and effective means of serving the public good. Control and constituency are two different things. Watts makes an important point: "Indeed, al-Shabab as a governance-provider has now been replaced by a fledging [sic] but resilient national political process in Mogadishu. The coalition to counter IS appears to have no such vision for ending the Syrian civil war and restoring governance, nor does there appear to be an equivalent plan to restore governance that is locally viewed as legitimate in Sunni areas of Iraq."

Here's a link to the article: (login may be required)