This is one of those moments when I feel the urge to say “I told you so” or scream in frustration, or something similar.
The UN is trying to point out to those who will listen that Eritrea is believed to be funneling arms into Somalia.
No kidding. That was my main concern last December when the US foolishly pushed Ethiopia back into direct confrontation in the Ogaden region and crushed the Somali peace.
Anyone familiar with the history of conflict in the region could predict that the most recent Ethiopian-led US-backed operation of whacking the bees nest known as the Horn of Africa with a big stick would undermine the nascent government in Somalia and return the region to a hotbed of militarized destablization and bloody terrorism.
Eritrea, of course, denies any involvement in the proliferation of arms:
Eritrean Information Minister Ali Abdu told Associated Press news agency his country had not provided any assistance to the Shabab.
“It is a total fabrication and the intention of the report is to depict it as if there is a proxy war between Eritrea and Ethiopia,” Mr Abdu said.
The Bush administration has been caught lying under oath now so many times, that I imagine it would be hard for them to try and point a finger at any other country and demand accountability. I doubt they could even bring up the term corruption without losing all credibility. But I digress…
It does seem plausable that Eritrea has continued their historic fight with Ethiopia by arming former allies in Somalia. In fact, I was having a hard time understanding why they did not resist the Ethiopian incursion. Now, in retrospect, it makes a lot of sense that they waited for the conventional forces to move in and get bogged down before initiating a protracted resistance movement. That is what they are most famous for and how they defeated Mengistu’s giant Soviet/Chinese/Cuban-backed army over 30 years — the largest standing force in the world at the time.
I think people forget that a tank has become a sign of former security (control) capability, not present or future.
My best guess as to why the Bush administration has been so unbelievably counter-productive in foreign policy in the Horn is that they are still stuck in a fantasy of the Cold War mentality. They think that Reagan won, when in fact it was the other side unilaterally attempting to take a path of greater accountability for a failed and corrupt economic system, as I’ve mentioned before too.
The idea under Reagan was to stop the Communists at any cost. Destablizing a region meant potentially bringing down a group that could fall, or already was, into the “hands of the Reds”. Unfortunately, this strategy in today’s world brings about the opposite effect, leading regions into a harsh anti-establishment highly-distributed position as the discontent of rubble is a power-vacuum more easly filled by “the Fundies” (religious fundamentalists and other extremists) than blue-jeans and Coca Cola.
Saying that the US can send in their heavy forces to reconnect with the outliers once they have had their network plugs pulled is like saying IBM will convince iPhone users that they want to connect to their mainframe. Sadly, the current big-blue thinkers in the White House just don’t get it.