CJTF-HOA an emerging Focus point for the USA

Scott A. Morgan
May 17, 2006
After recent events in East Africa it is becoming quite clear that a segment of the United States Central Command may be the most crucial element in the future. The command is the CJTF-HOA (Combined Joint Task Force- Horn of Africa). This command has an area of operations that includes Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya and Yemen.
Currently the Horn of Africa is one of the most economically depressed areas on the planet. The region has been strife torn for the most part since the 1970s. The conflict that most people in the US remember is the failed US/UN mission that tried to restore a functioning Government in Somalia in the early 1990s. This failure was crucial for the following two reasons. First it led the perpetrators of the Rwandan Genocide to ascertain that the West would not intervene to stop the violence. And it was the first time that the United States Clashed with Al-Qaida.
Now this Command has undertaken several initiatives to improve the lives of the people in the region. Several projects including building or improving schools hospitals roads and orphanages have been initiated or completed. There also have been some discussions about launching programs to train judges, lawyers and reporters as well.
There are also some other activities as well. First there have been substantial increases in American Military and Intelligence Operations in the region. Ethiopia has come under scrutiny to improve its Human Rights record after controversial elections led to riots last year. There is also substantial pressure for the Ethiopians to settle its border dispute with Eritrea. There has also been pressure placed on Kenya to pass a more stringent Anti-Terrorism Law. Recently such legislation was introduced in the Kenyan Parliament but it was quickly attacked by both the Opposition and Human Rights Groups. Both parties feel like the US Embassy authored the legislation.
There are recent reports from the region that the US is behind the recent upsurge in the violence in Somalia. Kenyan Authorities have reported that the outgoing director of the CIA Porter Goss visited Somalia to assess the terrorism links first hand. Some time after the director left members of both the CIA and the FBI arrived in Somalia. They had a list of Al-Qaida operatives they were looking for and had both money as well as arms to assist in the operation. But one has to ask whether or not this is a coincidence to the violent clashes in the region for the last few weeks.
The Pentagon Planners feel that the Horn of Africa is the next battleground in the war on terror. After all that is the plan for the next five years. The next scheduled review is in 2010. How much will the world change within the next four years remains to be seen. But terror is expected to be around as well.

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at3:31 PM


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