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America and Somali Pirates

Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 13:36

The independent Somalia state was established in 1960 as a result of two colonies integration — British and Italian. The state system and policy based on constitutional monarchy was soon subdued by the dictatorship of Mohamed Siad Barre (Somali: Maxamed Siyaad Barre). In the first years of being in power Barre remembered colonial dependency on Western countries took the course of popular national liberation movements and tried to cooperate with the USSR. However, by 1977 the relations with the Soviet Union had deteriorated. Later the USSR left Somalia outside its sphere of interests and Barre had no choice other than actualize relations with the USA.
In the core of the relations between Barre and the US was the US assistance in subduing the opposition and revolts. Washington magnanimously supplied Somalia with weapons catalyzing the war with Ethiopia. The latter still has unsolved territorial conflicts with Somalia. President Carter tried to establish a green corridor for the weapons supplies to Somalia, but refused the idea at the last moment. For a certain period of time Barre was deprived of any assistance from the great powers. However, in the 80 s of the previous century under President Ronald Reagan the US again started to display interest towards this country. Henry Kissinger personally met the dictator Barre. They arranged annual weapons and money supplies from America to Somalia in the amount of USD 100 million. In exchange Somalia agreed to give America full control over the deep-water port Berbera in the Gulf of Aden. This port was a strategic object that allowed the US to counterstand the USSR projects in Africa and in Arab Peninsula. It also helped secure the transportation corridor for the American consumers of the Middle East oil. During the whole period of being in power Barre used the US money only to consolidate his power depriving the country of and opportunities for development, economic growth and establishment of any kind of state system and national economy.
After Cold War the US Department of State decided to contract the financial aid to Somalia which became the reason for social and political conflicts in the country. Poverty that covert the majority of the population was the main reason for the civil war. In 1991 Barre was forced to leave the country and died 4 years later of heart attack. Later the US made an attempt of military intrusion in Somalia. History knows this operation as Black Hawk Down. The American military divisions were defeated by the local population. This fact was later adapted for the screen.
At that time Somalia was a territory in which anarchy ruled. And it still remains the same which is mainly due to Washington. During the whole period when Barre was in power the US did not even try a single time to change his policy in order to develop the state system or economy. The US Government supported and financed dictatorship and did not even attempt to influence the dictator and minimize his tyranny though meanwhile Washington always underlined the necessity to comply with the human rights in the whole world.
The population of Somalia welcomed the XXI century in total anarchy when the state does not interfere into economic and administrative problems. The country still depends on foreign money supplies. After financial assistance significantly contracted the population found themselves on the verge of starvation. Agriculture was ruined by poor policy. Imported products were sold at extremely low prices which made the production of the local farmers uncompetitive in the internal market. Due to practically absolute absence of domestic production Somalia depended strongly on foreign assistance. Humanitarian that was supplied to Somalia to prevent humanitarian disaster was distributed on the basis of clan principles. Barre gave it to his supporters and confidants. These actions became the reason for conflicts between clans. Humanitarian aid was the only way for Barre to preserve power.
Meanwhile several local clans managed to acquire aid from non-governmental sources and distributed it on the basis of the class and family principles which also aggravated the internal conflicts. As a result of these “honorable actions of the world community” food became a serious instrument to influence the situation in the country. The US police that supported the Barre dictatorship did not have any objectives to develop the country politically or socially, to establish democratic institutions and lead Somalia to extreme poverty and inability to develop its own economy and agriculture. Somalia did not have any kind of national foreign policy which resulted in foreign fishing boats filled the Somali coastal waters. Within the frames of country-scale poverty this was one of the reasons for the appearance of piracy.
A number of experts from other countries say that the “structural control program” that was carried out in Somalia by the International Monetary Fund actually ruined the basis of national agriculture. Government vacuum lead to the transition of power to bandit groups.
In the opinion of the Middle East experts the US regarded Somalia as a short-term object partner for the period of the Cold War without paying any attention to the problems of the country development. This “rational” approach lead to the destruction of the Somali internal infrastructure, economy and agriculture. The Middle East experts are sure that it was poverty that became the reason for the appearance of piracy in the Somali coastal waters.

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