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Combating Transnational Terrorism in the East African Region: The Role of the African Union Mission in Somalia

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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With the logistical support of the international community, including the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States, the African Union Mission in Somalia AMISOM has liberated towns from Al Shabaab, protected the Federal Government of Somalia, and enhanced the military capabilities of the Somalia National Security Forces. However, the security situation in Somalia remains fragile, characterized by a mixture of conventional and asymmetrical attacks against AMISOM and the strategic government infrastructures. Al Shabaab still has the ability to switch from asymmetrical to direct conventional attacks against AMISOM forces and its partners. In other words, significant challenges remain. Some are strategic, some are operational, and some are geo-political. These bottlenecks, particularly as they aggregate, continue to undermine AMISOMs efforts to break the cohesion of Al Shabaaband its will to fight. This thesis examines the achievements of and challenges before AMISOM in combating Al Shabaab-orchestrated transnational terrorism in Somalia. It also demonstrates comparative counterterrorism models from which lessons for Somalia can be drawn. The study concludes by suggesting policy recommendations to the Somali Federal Government, the African Union, and the international community in fighting against transnational terrorism in Somalia and the East African region.

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Technical Report



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Approved For Public Release;

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