Episode 71 of the Irregular Warfare Podcast examines the often misunderstood security dynamics of Somalia and al-Shabaab.

Our guests begin by describing the complex security landscape of Somalia. They then examine al-Shabaab in depth and analyze the intricate methods the organization uses to maintain its foothold in East Africa. Finally, the show concludes with a discussion on international and indigenous efforts to eradicate al-Shabaab.

Mary Harper is the Africa editor at BBC World Service News. She has reported on Africa for the BBC for two decades and specializes on Somalia, where she spends much of her time. In 2019, she authored Everything You Have Told Me is True: The Many Faces of Al Shabaab, which serves as the anchor for this episode.

Sam Wilkins is an Army Special Forces officer with deployments to Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Somalia, and currently serves in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point. Sam holds an MA in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations, and was a 2021 next generation national security fellow at the Center for New American Security.

Ben Jebb and Matt Moellering are the hosts for Episode 71. Please reach out to Ben and Matt with any questions about this episode or the Irregular Warfare Podcast.

The Irregular Warfare Podcast is a production of the Irregular Warfare Initiative (IWI). We are a team of volunteers dedicated to bridging the gap between scholars and practitioners in the field of irregular warfare. IWI generates written and audio content, coordinates events for the IW community, and hosts critical thinkers in the field of irregular warfare as IWI fellows. You can follow and engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn.

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Image credit: AMISOM Public Information