Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Horn of Africa

It's hard to know what to make of recent developments in Ethiopia and Somalia. I'm hardly sad that the Islamists are going down to defeat in Somalia. Perhaps when Ethiopia takes Mogadishu it will lead to a bloodbath, but perhaps not. People hardly predicted that the Islamists would crumble like a hard cheese when faced with real fighting forces. Somalia is a great disaster. The transitional government there doesn't really have any authority or power, but with the backing of the Ethiopian army, that changes significantly. Certainly Ethiopia was well within its rights by striking after the Somali Islamists called for jihad against them. On the other hand, the Islamists could continue a low-level conflict for a very long time that would continue to undermine security and stability within Somalia.

One thing we can perhaps all agree on is dismay over the tiny amount of press this war is getting in the US. This could be a key moment in US security, as Somalia had become a center for Islamist fighters over the past years, and their defeat would strike a blow for the US. But it's Africa and no one cares.