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"Government is not the solution…it is the problem" -Ronald Reagan



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Ethiopia: A war we are winning

Posted by Stephen on March 10, 2007

There are 1700 Americans there that are part of a military presence. They support the Ethiopian Army, but there role is much more important to the surrounding community. The American’s job is to capture human terrain. Of course during the days of Vietnam it was called winning hearts and minds. They dig wells, the set up health clinics, they help build schools and they do it to create relationships in hopes of helping people help themselves while also gathering important intelligence information and assist in training Ethiopian troops. NPR’s Ted Koppel described it as waging peace.

However, this war torn region is not without war time activity, and our military personnel act in support of Ethiopian troops. Recently, our military assisted the Ethiopian military during a successful raid of a suspected Al Qaida terrorist camp near Mogadishu, Somalia. Ted Koppel’s latest documentary, airing on the Discovery Channel on Sunday, entitled Our Children’s Children’s War, describes America’s involvement in a war that American forces are winning.

Horn of Africa, or HOA, may be the best example of a plan for U.S. involvement in the war on terror. General George Abizaid states that “the best way to win the war is to train troops that are indigenous forces that are capable forces. I think ultimately you need to get away from these large occupational forces, which of course you can’t do until you stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Koppel points out that Abizaid informed him that the model for the future of a war on terrorism should be comprised of 20 percent military, while the other 80 percent should be diplomatic, economic, intelligence, police, and media.

To assist the U.S. military in this endeavor the government has hired a major military contractor to provide equipment and logistical support to the peacekeeping mission in Somalia. DynCorp International is provided personnel to assist in America’s support plans in the region.

In an Associated Press report the U.S. government stated that it “wants to improve the quality of African soldiering and promote greater peace and stability in the region. It also wants to improve U.S. ties to governments in a region that is becoming a major oil and mineral producer and could become the next battlefield in the war against terrorism.”

This part of the African Horn is an oil and mineral rich environment that is attracting attention from across the world’s political spectrum. China is moving to establish relations with northern African governments in an attempt to become a player in the region.

If bureaucracy stands down and allows the U.S. to continue to forge necessary relationships while helping to train local forces to be able to defend themselves against radical insurgents, then perhaps the best of America will shine through. Writing a check and sending more weapons to a region may be one approach, but providing opportunity, hope, training and resources that give people long term solutions is true leadership.

Show a country how to grow twice as much produce on half the land and you will win a friend. Show a country how to create, engineer, and manage an infrastructure program that creates jobs and addresses the basic needs of people and America will forge a bond in the fight against terrorism. Do these things and America will realize what it truly means to be seen as a liberator. 

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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