The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Bush administration has quietly begun dispatching diplomatic,military, intelligence and law enforcement agents to Asia, taking aim at Al Qaeda hubs in at least seven countries.
Several administration officials specifically cited the Philippines, Somalia and Yemen as top priorities. They alsomentioned Malaysia, Indonesia and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Officials admit that the effort marks a significant shift in foreign policy.
Meanwhile, Sunday British papers indicate that the Bush administration has gone a step further. The LondonObserver reported that President Bush has already ordered the CIA and his senior military commanders to draw updetailed plans for an attack on Iraq. The plan would involve a combined operation with US bombers attacking from theair while US forces assist opposition groups in the North and the South in a stage-managed uprising. The SundayTelegraph reported that the US has asked Britain to help prepare military strikes against Somalia.
Today we’re going to have an extended discussion on US interests in Somalia. We will be joined by the founder of theNortheast-East African Oil Project, which has tracked the activities of over 170 oil companies in the region. Wewill also be joined by a former member of the underground Eritrean People’s Liberation Front.
But first we go to Josh Meyer, staff writer for the L.A. Times in Washington, D.C., to talk about the Bushadministration’s moves to extend the so-called war on terror to at least seven different countries.
- Josh Meyer, staff writer for the L.A. Times in Washington, D.C.
- Claudia Carr, professor at UC Berkeley, head of the Northeast-East African Oil Project. She has beenengaged in field work and research with African governments and international aid groups for 25 years. Former Boardof Directors member, National Academy of Sciences (Board on Science and Technology for International Development).
- Aleas Habte Selassie, former member of the EPLF (Eritrean People’s Liberation Front), which led thestruggle against Ethiopia and the US from 1963-1992 and formed the government on independence in 1992. He is also aformer high level government official in Ethiopia, and is currently of the coordinators of the Somalia program of theSwedish NGO, the Life and Peace Institute.