On December 20th the Islamic Courts Union attacked the last remaining stronghold of the internationally recognized Somalian government at Baidoa. Soon Ethiopian forces came in with American technology and training and turned the tide of battle. The Islamists were defeated on December 26. By December 28 Ethiopian troops stepped aside as the government retook the capital city of Mogadishu.
Islamic Courts Union officials have resigned while die-hards have retreated for their last stand at Kismayo. The Ethiopian government has vowed to hunt down and destroy any remaining threat to Ethiopian and expects military victory by the end of next week.
The similarities to Afghanistan are plentiful. Both the Taliban and Islamic Courts Union believed Shria (Islamic law) was the answer to all the fighting. Both groups came from an urban area with a tribal/rural culture. Each side managed to blitz their way across the country but only controlled a few key areas. The rest of the territory was controlled by allying with or forcing other tribes to become part of a network. Once tide turned against the Islamists their nominal tribal allies were destroyed or, in most cases, switched sides.
Ethiopia won because they followed America's Afghanistan model. Find out who your enemy is (Taliban/Islamic Court Union), find out who opposes them (Northern Alliance/Government), destroy your enemy and let those who oppose them take control right away. This is the way to fight and win the War on Terrorism.
In Iraq America has followed multiple strategies with varying degrees of success. In Kurdistan the Kurds were allowed to run their own government under the Afghanistan model and that area has been quite. In the south the British have managed to keep peace while battling death squads which come from the problem of Iraq- the center. In the center the US and Allied forces have fought against Sunni terrorists all the while trying to negotiate with Sunni terrorists not allied with al Qaeda. Meanwhile Coalition forces have battled against al Sadr's militas while taking no steps to remove the leadership of the gang. All this while trying to get two sides to form unnatural unity governments.
Maybe Iraq would be better off if we went strictly with the Afghanistan model, maybe not. Too much of life is "If they would only heard me out." What should be done is learn how Ethiopia has defeated a common enemy.