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Category: Focus

Is the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Fog Clearing?

The logic at Foggy Bottom is almost as elusive as the Company men, but it seems for once the fog may be clearing. In a recent State Department statement1 (from the Embassy in Asmara), the United States has stated, that it supports the Eritrean position (that demarcation must begin before normalization of relations). This seems to be a significant statement, one that has been alluded to before, however was disputable because of its actions contrary to it. Ethiopia must beware that its primary patron is beginning to cool towards it.


  1. Three Statements Concerning Eritrea 

Regional Aggressor or Regional Scapegoat?

Is it just semantics or just misrepresentation?

Eritrea is often labeled by journalists and governments as a regional aggressor (here1 and here2). The most often cited evidence for this designation is that Eritrea has been engaged in conflict with each of its contiguous neighbors as well as an overseas state. Ironically however, its neighbor to the south, Ethiopia has had border conflicts with four of its six neighbors, has occupied two of them in the past two decades and has actively fomented insurgencies in its neighbors. Superficially they both seem to be aggressive nations but as we know, nothing is as simple as it seems.


  1. Eritrea: The Siege State 

  2. Ethiopia rebels say capture base, kill 94 soldiers 

Theft, Development and Being a Good Samaritan

In a book praised by the likes of nobelaureate Joseph Stiglitz and Noam Chomsky, Ha-Joon Chang’s Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism briefly discusses the economic history of today’s great powers and charts possible ways forward for less developed countries. Ha-Joon addresses the mystery of economic development by the Asian Tigers as well as how countries such as the United States and Germany developed.