Military Intervention in Somalia and Its Aftermath

The article "US Ignores Key Doubts Over Somali Intervention," Dec. 9, quotes United States Ambassador to Kenya Smith Hempstone as saying he is concerned that "the operation might `reunite the Somalia nation against [the US] ... who may have fed their children but also have killed their young men.' "

In addition, Alex de Waal, a former associate director of Africa Watch, says, " `All these delicate webs of agreement and contracts that have been established' by some relief agencies with Somali clans will `go up in a puff of smoke' when the Marines arrive."

What the military will do after they distribute food is an important question. No one can foresee the aftermath of this operation; but, meanwhile, children are still starving.

In clear conscience, could the United States have waited while the existing relief agencies failed to do the job? The deployment process no doubt is ticklish and risky, but time was running out. Had we waited much longer, the whole exercise would have been purely academic. Howard F. Gregory, East Falmouth, Mass.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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