Why are we in Somalia?
The recent chopper tragedy has resurrected the fundamental question Ugandans raised sometime back, but did not get satisfactory answers to: ‘Why are we in Somalia?’ However, this time round it is the very journalists who raised the questions who are stifling the voices trying to refloat this important question!
It could be that we lack critical thinkers and intelligent brains that can analyse issues in depth, beyond merely making noises on radio talk shows and insulting academicians. In Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins cites the imposing presence of the military of a developing country in a neighbouring country to protect the interests of the Global Empire as one of the telling signs of a failed state.
Taxpayers of such a state must bleed to maintain and sustain their troops on a mission that they neither understand nor benefit from, apart from the gains of the top military brass. If it is not primarily in our interest that we should be in Somalia, what do ordinary citizens and taxpayers get in return from such military adventures?
Are our soldiers insured, and who foots the bill? Citizens in Australia, USA, etc, are raising similar questions about their unwelcome military presence in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, DRC, etc. So, why shouldn’t it be important for Ugandan taxpayers to raise these questions?