Document Type

International Studies and Languages


This paper outlines three international policy options for Somalia in an effort to begin working towards solving the issues that have plagued the Horn of Africa for over 40 years. A short introduction summarizing Somalia’s tumultuous history precedes an examination of the three policy options. The first proposal, as supported and practiced by the U.S. State Department, is an interventionist policy involving political, economic, and in the past, military intervention. The policy would continue to allow the U.S. to closely monitor Somalia’s struggling government in an effort to maintain and protect its regional interests. The second proposal reconsiders Somaliland’s de facto secession and discusses the possibility of reunification with Somalia. Although not internationally recognized, Somaliland has become largely independent from southern Somalia and functions much like an autonomous state. This policy considers the benefits of Somaliland’s reunification with Somalia. The third and final proposal is the controversial containment policy recommended by several analysts familiar with the condition of Somalia. The containment policy would require the international community to disengage from the current government and allow the country to recover—or ruin—itself. After outlining three possible policies, this paper recommends a variation of the third proposal offered—a policy of international containment towards Somalia, as well as giving further analysis and supporting data. The discussion will conclude with considerations of inevitable challenges and potential long-term goals for the recommended policy.