SAME FIGHTERS FROM 'BLACK HAWK DOWN' BATTLES MAY NOW BE ON US PAYROLL
WARNINGS OF US FUNDS AIDING NEW GENERATION OF TERRORISTS AND FUELING CIVIL WAR
From The Washington Post : "More than a decade after U.S. troops withdrew from Somalia following a disastrous military intervention, officials of Somalia's interim government and some U.S. analysts of Africa policy say the United States has returned to the African country, secretly supporting secular warlords who have been waging fierce battles against Islamic groups for control of the capital, Mogadishu.
"The latest clashes, last week and over the weekend, were some of the most violent in Mogadishu since the end of the American intervention in 1994, and left 150 dead and hundreds more wounded. Leaders of the interim government blamed U.S. support of the militias for provoking the clashes.
"U.S. officials have declined to directly address on the record the question of backing Somali warlords, who have styled themselves as a counterterrorism coalition in an open bid for American support.
"'We would prefer that the U.S. work with the transitional government and not with criminals,' the prime minister, Ali Mohamed Gedi, said in an interview.
"'This is a dangerous game. Somalia is not a stable place and we want the U.S. in Somalia. But in a more constructive way. Clearly we have a common objective to stabilize Somalia, but the U.S. is using the wrong channels.'
"Many of the warlords have their own agendas, Somali officials said, and some reportedly fought against the United States in 1993 during street battles that culminated in an attack that downed two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters and left 18 Army Rangers dead.
"'The U.S. government funded the warlords in the recent battle in Mogadishu, there is no doubt about that,' government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari told journalists by telephone from Baidoa. 'This cooperation . . . only fuels further civil war.'US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack was quoted as saying the United States works with "responsible individuals" in the fight against terror, and the creation of new havens for Al Qaeda. But this means they are arming, training and paying those who are willing to take on the Islamists in the region.
It's got the whiff of 1980s Afghanistan all over it.
Create and support local militias to take on the enemy of the day, and lay the groundwork for the rise of a possible new enemy of tomorrow, well-armed and well-trained.