I have a new article that was just published this morning in the journal CTC Sentinel, which is published by the Combating Terrorism Center, an academic unit at West Point. The article, "Al-Shabab's Setbacks in Somalia," examines the recent efforts by the insurgent movement to address battlefield setbacks and the pressures of dealing with the severe famine. It examines the insurgents' strategic decisions through the lens of their own media output, which was really not been done to this extent before as far as I am aware. The role of insurgent messaging is the guiding theme I used throughout.
The second introductory paragraph sums up the article:
"This article will assess the current state of al-Shabab as a viable insurgent movement in the midst of battlefield setbacks and the increasing pressures of the famine. The recent strategic decisions of the movement will be analyzed through the lens of how al-Shabab seeks to portray itself and its actions to audiences both inside and outside the country. The article will examine the evolution of al-Shabab’s media campaign in the midst of these setbacks, insurgent attempts to mask its setbacks by projecting a carefully-constructed self-image as a movement that is still capable of governing territory, a renewed outreach by insurgent leaders to the country’s powerful clans, and the media portrayal of the movement’s famine relief efforts."
Read the rest of the article at the CTC SENTINEL.