If you’re an anarchist, or even if you’re a statist libertarian, you’ve probably been at the receiving end of reductio ad somalium numerous times. According to statists Somalia is the prime example of anarchy (and they ignore the fact that Somalia today is better off than it was under its former federal government [PDF]). Of course such claims are bullshit. Somalia now has a federal government, which was merely an evolution of its United Nations backed transitional government. If there weren’t enough to prove Somalia is far from anarchy there are also United States troops in the country causing unknown amounts of havoc:
(Reuters) – U.S. military advisors have secretly operated in Somalia since around 2007 and Washington plans to deepen its security assistance to help the country fend off threats by Islamist militant group al Shabaab, U.S. officials said.
The comments are the first detailed public acknowledgement of a U.S. military presence in Somalia dating back since the U.S. administration of George W. Bush and add to other signs of a deepening U.S. commitment to Somalia’s government, which the Obama administration recognized last year.
The deployments, consisting of up to 120 troops on the ground, go beyond the Pentagon’s January announcement that it had sent a handful of advisors in October. That was seen at the time as the first assignment of U.S. troops to Somalia since 1993 when two U.S. helicopters were shot down and 18 American troops killed in the “Black Hawk Down” disaster.
Somalia isn’t an example of what happens in the absence of government. It’s an example of what happens when multiple governments intertwine themselves in a single geographic region. If anything Somalia is an example of too much government. Between the United States mucking about and the United Nations mucking about it’s easy to see why Somalia is still in a state of chaos after the collapse of its former federal government.