I’ve just been talking with an FDD researcher who has been monitoring developments in Somalia via Arabic media. It does indeed appear that the Ethiopians are defeating Islamist forces there. Why are they achieving what American forces in Somalia in1993 did not and what American forces in Iraq today apparently are not?
More “boots on the ground” may be part of the explanation. The Ethiopians are not attempting to have a “light footprint.” They are not worried about whether they will be seen as “occupiers” or whether their “occupation” will be viewed as benevolent.
Secondly, the Ethiopians are not overly concerned about whether their tactics will win approval from the proverbial Arab Street – or the European Street or Turtle Bay. They are fighting a war; their intention is to defeat their enemies; everything else is secondary or tertiary.
Anyone have an alternative interpretation?