NELSON INSTITUTE DIRECTOR’S COLUMN WARNS CONFLICT IN HORN OF AFRICA “THREATENS U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM GAINS”

October 4, 2007

HARRISONBURG—In his weekly “Strategic Interests” column for the World Defense Review, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, warns that the looming conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia may jeopardize gains in counterterrorism which the United States has made in the Horn of Africa region in recent years.

According to Dr. Pham, the “most significant national interest at stake for the United States in the Horn of Africa is to prevent al-Qaeda (or another like-minded international terrorist network) from acquiring a new base and opening a new front in its war against us and our allies as they have repeatedly sought to do, most recently through the radical Islamist elements within the Islamic Courts Union which had seized control of large parts of Somalia last year.” Thus the danger that the border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia—two countries “armed to the teeth…thanks, in no small part, to the estimated $1 billion in arms which…the People’s Republic of China has sold them” which, already fought a 1998-2000 war which claimed over 100,000 lives and displaced 1.5 million people—over “a literal scab of a border zone” may well “metastasize into a runaway infection consumes everything in its path, including the gains America has made in recent years against Islamist terrorists in the region.”

To read the full text of Dr. Pham’s article, “Brewing Border Battle Threatens U.S. Counterterrorism Gains,” click here.