Back to The Bad Old Days

As weary U.S. troops depart, they leave behind a country in no better shape than when they arrived

Aden Abdulrahman Mohammed believed the worst was over when the U.S. Marines arrived a year ago in his village just north of Baidoa. He had managed to reap a good harvest of sorghum, set up a water pump and construct a small chicken farm. Then suddenly in November, the bad old days returned. A dispute about two stolen camels between rival subclans quickly escalated into a hit-and-run war. When the shooting stopped, 15 villages, including Asha Farto, lay in smoking ruins. All the sorghum stored by the farmers had been looted or torched, and when the seasonal rains failed the following...

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