This study explores international interventions within the greater Horn of Africa from the context of fragility. It is an attempt to understand the discourse of state fragility and to problematize the assumptions that underlie intervention within fragile contexts. The language of fragility is based on assumptions that political systems are weak, easy to alter and damaged by change. However, there are entrenched behaviours within political systems that seek strength from disorder and are able to thrive and adapt within complexity. The region is subject to intense international intervention and there is a risk that such interventions are indeed generating fragility. Interventions within international politics seek to contain changes to the global order with the consequence of stifling certain types of change at domestic levels. The study aims to interrogate narratives of fragility which position African political economies as malleable beneficiaries of international change with assumed positive outcomes for domestic populations.