The UN is calling for a halt to combat in Somalia.
That's the UN's job, and I don't begrudge them for it.
But I have to wonder (and I feel like a jerk for asking): Is this a case where we might want to Just Give War a Chance?
Stemming from Edward Luttwak's 1999 Foreign Affairs article, the "give war a chance" argument is one of those claims you feel like a really terrible person making, but probably has some substance behind it. Fundamentally, the piece argues that prematurely stopping conflicts (through cease-fires and the like) artificially "freezes" combatants at a point where both sides feel like there is something left "on the table." So both sides use the time out to re-arm and re-group, and then start fighting afresh, creating an endless cycle of violence-ceasefire-violence. Luttwak argues that we should instead let conflicts burn themselves out naturally. This, he argues, creates stability by removing the incentive for further conflict, because both sides will have come to the conclusion that they have gotten all the can via armed fighting.
Somalia hasn't had a unified government since 1991 and has been locked in a low-grade anarchic civil war ever since. Stopping the conflict now likely will prevent any side from gaining a clear victory (Ethiopia's support for the provisional government has been crucial, but given enough time Eritrea will probably jump in to support the Islamist fighters). This is a rare opportunity for one side to score a major victory, possibly paving the way for permanent stabilization.
The problem, of course, is that this is highly speculative, and the collateral we'd place on that bet is a rather nasty war in a country that has endured far too much of it already.
So I don't know. But I thought it was worth throwing out there.
UPDATE: More on the situation from FPWatch and Security Dilemmas.