Article from ROAPE Volume 4 Number 10
US Policy in the Horn of Africa: ‘Aboulia’ or Proxy Intervention
Somalia; Cuban and Russian military personnel, MAAG (Military Advisory Group), Washington, US, State Department, Mengistu Haile Mariam and Teferi Benti, Diego Garcia, Fahd, Saudi Arabia Among the many questions raised by the dramatic events in the Horn of Africa none is more important or more misunderstood than that of the role played by the USA, and by its various Middle Eastern allies, in the region. The Carter Administration claims that it has avoided direct involvement in the conflicts and has berated the Soviet Union and Cuba for their intervention on the side of Ethiopia. By contrast, the Ethiopian government has stressed the links between the Somali invasion of Ogaden and the various opposition forces inside Ethiopia on one side and the USA, and the rightwing Arab states, on the other. What has been the role of the USA and its Middle Eastern clients in the disputes of the Horn? And how has US policy evolved in recent years? These are the questions which the following analysis will try, in a preliminary manner, to answer.