January 10, 2007

HARRISONBURG – In a commentary published today by National Review Online, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, hails the air strikes by a United States Air Force gunship against terrorist targets in southern Somalia.

Dr. Pham, who described himself as “a longstanding advocate of resolute action against the militant Islamists in the Horn of Africa” who had twice briefed the U.S. Congress on the issue, noted that he “cannot help but be gratified by the [al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Courts Union’s] defeat at the hands of the Ethiopian army acting with the implicit, and now explicit, support of the United States.” Citing the fact that foreign jihadi fighters – including Britons, Canadians, Eritreans, Pakistanis, Sudanese, Yemenis, and assorted Arabs – have been taken prison as well as the presence among the fleeing Islamist leadership of the three foreign al-Qaeda leaders indicted for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the essay concludes: “Thanks to Ethiopia’s forceful action while all-too-many others dawdled and to America’s finally wakening to the mounting threat, the prospects are not only brighter for security in the Horn of Africa, but also America’s global war on terrorism. Would it be too much to hope that, thirteen years after Black Hawk Down and nearly a decade after the East Africa embassy bombings, perhaps we have finally learned that the only effective ‘exit strategy’ in a terrorist haven like Somalia is to ensure that the terrorists exit permanently the scene first?”

To read Dr. Pham’s article, “Strikes in Somalia,” click here.