Moderator: Good afternoon everyone and thanks for coming. My name is Richard Downie. I’m from the Africa Program at the Center for strategic and international study, CSIS. It is my pleasure here to welcome here from the Council on Foreign Relations and she’s going to talk today about a report she has just written on the subjects of Somalia with some very interesting thinking outside the books, sort of ideas, about Somalia. Bronwyn is a democracy and governance specialist; and was between 2008 and 2009 an international affairs fellow in residence at the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, she has worked up the National Endowment for Democracy managing grants to nongovernmental organizations, I think particularly, in east and southern Africa including Somalia. Is that right? And she has also worked for the US AID and their Office of Transition Initiatives as well. Bronwyn holds MPP with honors from the UCLA. And we welcome her here today to talk about her report, which I guess I just open with a couple of remarks and set the scene for Bronwyn talking about Somalia. Somalia is a country that US policy makers had been scratching their head over for such a long time now. The country as you’ll undoubtedly know is perhaps a little more than an expression on the map having had no central government for the best part of two decades as being pulled to pieces by civil war, clan conflict, invasion by its neighbor Ethiopia and most recently by violent brands of religious extremist some with links to Al-Qaeda. The body with in charge of restoring order at the moment is a transition of federal governments and its abuse of what government is stretching it a little bit far. It may have international support but it doesn’t have much authority currently on the ground. Nevertheless, United States believes that TFG is the best or frankly the only option in town right now and it’s being busily ramping up its assistance to the TFG particularly in recent months and its leader, Sheikh Sharif. So far, there is a little to show for their efforts and Bronwyn is going to take up the story now in her new study for the Council on Foreign Relations, Somalia a new approach. She asked an important question of US foreign policy makers: Is doing less sometimes the best option? In what she calls constructive disengagement. She maps out the possible approach for the United States going forward and even if it allows Islam extremists malicious is about to extend its control of Somalia is a very thought provoking argument and we’re going to hear about it and more detail here today. So I’ll pass you all to Bronwyn and you can pick up the threads.

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