August 18, 2004


Horn of Africa Lauds Counterterror Success (CHRIS TOMLINSON, 8/18/04, Associated Press)

Terrorist groups are still operating in the Horn of Africa, but a 2-year-old U.S. task force has built cooperation in the region's anti-terror operations and prevented militants from staging attacks, the unit's commander told The Associated Press.

In one of the latest joint operations, American troops are patrolling with Djiboutian and Kenyan forces to help secure their borders with Somalia, which remains a haven for some terrorist groups. U.S. soldiers also conduct joint exercises with Ethiopian and Eritrean troops and are helping countries across the region develop better intelligence capabilities.

The Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, set up in Djibouti in June 2002, is responsible for fighting terrorism in nine countries around the Horn of Africa: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Somalia in Africa and Yemen on the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula.

Brig. Gen. Samuel Helland, commander of the task force, said aggressive security measures in cooperation with U.S. forces have reduced the area where terrorists can hide and train.

``We've got forces now in almost every country and we've got representation in every country,'' except Somalia, Helland told AP in an interview late Monday.

He said U.S. training of regional militaries is increasing and the U.S. task force is averaging one civilian-military operation every three days to promote cooperation.

This administration has given Africa the kind of attention for which Bill Clinton took credit.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 18, 2004 8:31 AM

Bill Clinton liked Africans to wave palm fronds at him. Period. He probably liked it better when it happened in Harlem.

Bush will never get any credit for doing anything in Africa, even if every African leader stood in the Rose Garden and thanked him with tears.

Mercy (magnanimity, kindness, generosity, whatever) is not a quality the media recognizes, so why should we expect any different? I am quite sure President Bush isn't holding his breath.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 18, 2004 11:12 AM

Bill loved to be the "Great White Father".

Posted by: J.H. at August 18, 2004 12:06 PM

Most of what I think about Africa was crystallized when I edited a wire story about the independence of Djibouti. It described it as a "country" whose only resources were 50,000 camels and two bottling plants.

Makes you think.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at August 18, 2004 1:41 PM

What's funny is that Djibouti is a better ally than its former patron.

Posted by: oj at August 18, 2004 1:55 PM