Africa Front Opened
The Horn of Africa front was opened in the spring of 2003, when the US government began taking steps to mount covert operations against Al Qaeda associated groups in East Africa. The Horn of Africa is a the northeastern end of Africa; the countries that make it up lie along the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, and are separated only narrowly from the Saudi Arabia and Yemen at the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula. This makes the area one in which arms and other items can be smuggled with relative ease across continents
In 2003, six countries were put under US watch: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan. Although there are a number of indigenous terrorist actors, Al Qaeda and sympathizer Islamist groups are the primary American concern.
In 2006, the US initiated a second wave of anti-terrorism activities in Africa. It started training African troops to forestall terrorist groups. In 2007, the United States Department of Defense opened a new unified command in Africa, AFRICOM, in large part to pursue the war on terror, or "long war," as it is also called.
Base of Operations: Djibouti
The base of operations for war on terror activities in the horn of Africa is Djibouti, which houses the US. Military's Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Operations at Camp Lemonier. It was founded in 2002, and began operations in Djiboute upon landing in May 2003
My colleague, Keith Porter, reported first hand on the work of the soldiers and others stationed there, when he visited in March 2007: