How’s this for the ironic American quote of the day:
“I find it perplexing what the Ethiopians are up to,” said David Shinn, a former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia. “Over the long term, I don’t see where this gets them. And one wonders how long they can hang on in this situation, because eventually it’s going to turn into a nasty guerrilla war, and I don’t think the Ethiopians have the stomach to carry on with that kind of campaign.”
As I suspected, the Ethiopian government has grown tired of guerrilla forces rattling sabers at their border. Ethiopia has a long history of conflict over the Ogaden region, not to mention they are still smarting from the hugely symbolic loss of Red Sea access after defeat by Tigray and Eritrean forces. And then there’s the less than public subtext of Western forces maintaining a long-standing presence as tactical and strategic advisers in the Horn of Africa. You might even say the ever-present French rapid deployment forces hanging out in Djibouti have been fed up with the Somali situation for some time and, coupled with the American special ops teams hunting for Al Qaeda, play a silent hand pushing Ethiopia into action. Complicated yes, but perplexing, no.
Now about that perplexing situation in Iraq…