Sunday, November 19, 2006

The "other war" the media is ignoring

A few days ago I suggested we should get involved in the horn of Africa. It would appear that we've been doing exactly that although you'd never know it listening to the nightly news.

CJTF-HOA (lots of news articles here)

Curiously, we've even performed joint training exercises with, get this...the French military in Djibouti.
The Marines of 461 along with elements of Charlie Company of the Guam Army National Guard conducted a joint military training with the French unit based in Djibouti, on Oct. 31. The event marked the first time the United States and French military forces have worked together in a training exercise involving both air and ground forces in the Horn of Africa.
US Navy assumes command of Camp Lemonier
[...]Consisting of about 1,500 U.S. and coalition personnel, the task force conducts operations and training to help host nations establish a secure environment while enabling regional stability.

The primary purpose of the camp is to support CTF-HOA's anti-terrorism operations here in the Horn of Africa to include Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, said Fahey.

As Fischer moves on to his new assignment in Quantico, Va., he says Camp Lemonier's greatest achievement is its day-to-day operation.

We're an anti-terrorism base, so our most important accomplishment is providing security and safety to Camp Lemonier each and every day,” he said.

Originally a French Foreign Legion post, the camp was later renovated by the U.S. CJTF-HOA later moved its headquarters from the flagship USS Mount Whitney to the East African facility. [...]

Germans also operating out of Djibouti (H/T Armies of Liberation)
Germany's recent decision to continue participating in the "Enduring Freedom" campaign against international terrorism has caused some controversy, but for troops on naval patrol in Africa, it's business as usual.[...]

[...]While many Germans may be starting to question the usefulness of the "Enduring Freedom" campaign, the marines themselves are sure of their aims.

"We are here to fight international terrorism," says one soldier on the frigate "Schleswig Holstein."[...]


The Machinist said...

I suppose if I were an ass, I would ask why we're helping the French in Africa, when they are pulling their SpecOps guys, the only ones actually doing anything, out of Afghanistan?

Purple Avenger said...

Maybe a better question is why the French are helping us in Africa?

Might it be that Afghanistan is in better shape than the HOA and those SpecOps guys are headed for the newest hot spot?

You may or may not be an ass, but your thinking and world awareness isn't up to spec.

The Machinist said...

Sorry, I should have gotten back to you.

1) I was not aware that AF was going quite so well. Granting that SOCOM type forces are finite, i.e. low density high demand IIRC the jargon, I would nonetheless have imagined they had enough for both. Any news of new French deployments to HOA?

2) In a word, Djibouti. The French cling to the bits of empire left them - if you ever go to, look at posters like FS and see how their world seems to virtually revolve around their base in Dj. and how they can therefore offer global strike, beat on Iran if they like, whatever.

IOW I was not aware that their commitments there were altruistic, or 'in support of the US.' Perhaps we concur on a policy but as you know they are relentlessly independent cats. Why then do you see it as helping us and not vice versa?

3) It would make sense that somebody is helping the Ethiopians be so effective vs. ICU.

4) However, Dj. is not news. Germany has been helping with naval interdiction for a while. I trust you are not alleging Deutsch boots on the ground?

So overall, while you offer a turn of thought, I do not follow that you have laid a trail of evidence to support it. I admit I did not follow your links; perhaps they make it clear?