CLINTON CONFIRMATION: Somalia
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) returns, and asks about intelligence warnings of Al Qaeda movement into the chaos of Somalia. “What’s your view on what’s gone wrong on that?”
Clinton: “Somalia is strategically located … the idea that Somalia is just a failed state, somewhere over there, where people are just fighting over Heaven knows what is one that we adopt at our peril. I don’t know the most effective way forward,” she concedes. “Now we have the added ingredient of Al Qaeda and terrorists looking to take advantage of chaos and failure of Somalia.” She declines to take up Feingold’s invitation to bash President George W. Bush’s eager embrace of the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia two years ago, saying merely that “there’s a lot of history here.” But she tells Feingold, who apparently has a fair amount of expertise on Somalia, “we’re going to seek your advice.”
Arrrrrr now we’re talking about piracy. “The current thinking” is anti-piracy will be a “joint effort … with the shippers … and various navies, including China and India.” Also there’s “some talk about going ashore … we have to give a lot of thought to this. There’s an enormous number of bad options that need to be sorted through.” She wraps up by saying that there’s not a Somalia policy yet, but the administration’s going to work on it.