Gaining its' independence in 1977, the Republic of Djibouti is a small sized country surrounded by limited resources and in hostile region. Following their independence, Djibouti was left with two primary ethnic groups. (BBC 2010) The Afars and the Issas, whereas the first president was an Issa, he created "an authoritarian one-party state." (BBC 2010) This created tensions that eventually erupted into a civil war between the two groups, in addition to many 'off-shoots' that resulted from the resentment. This civil war lasted from 1991-1994 with a peace agreement and power sharing; however there was still scarce organized fighting against the government as late as 1997. This becomes extremely relevant as the Djiboutian Parliament passed a constitutional amendment on the 14th of April, 2010 that removed term limits for the president. (Arteh, Reuters)
The United States and Djibouti have a strong standing relationship that includes monetary assistance, military assistance, and humanitarian assistance. In 2002 the U.S. and the Republic of Djibouti agreed to terms that would turn a former French military base into a base that would house over 1,200 U.S. troops, this agreement stands to this day with a partnership in fighting the Global War on Terror. With the population of Djibouti at just less than ž of a million people, according to the CIA in 2009, of which nearly 60% are unemployed; furthering the struggle less than 70% are literate. One of the largest employers in the country is the U.S. Government. This heavily sways the government of Djibouti and much of its citizenry in favor of the U.S. and its' policies.
Inside the borders of Djibouti there is a diverse multi-national population. There are many Somalis (Issa) whom form the majority; Afars account for as much as one-third of Djibouti's population; there is also a large Ethiopian presence which has proven difficult to track or estimate. There is still a slight presence of French and Italians in the area.
The primary religion observed in Djibouti is Islam, accounting for nearly 94% of the population, with the remaining 6% being primarily Christian. Islam is listed as the official state religion of Djibouti, however the constitution allows for the freedom of practice of any religion.
POLICY FROM U.S.
The United States considers Djibouti to be a strong strategic location. Its location sitting atop the Horn of Africa, (HOA), provides access to the Gulf of Aden. This prominent shipping lane is the main source of income for Djibouti, and of importance to the United States' proactive global war on terror. Djibouti was a role-player in the early 1990's gulf war and after September 11th, 2001 it became a very important location of the United States.
The United States has its only military base in the African continent, in Djibouti. This base serves as a dual purpose. Its' primary initiatives include humanitarian efforts in the region, both inside and outside the borders of Djibouti, as well as a counterterrorism effort that focuses on military operations and land mine removal. (McKenzie, CNN)
The humanitarian side of the United States' policy includes setting up the only forward operating warehouse of food and emergency relief in the continent of Africa and outside of the U.S. (State.gov) This precaution ensures that natural disasters are responded to in a timely manner as to maximize the effectiveness of its effort. More than just providing emergency food relief, the US also helps build schools in remote locations and poor communities throughout the region, not just in Djibouti.
Officially, the mission of CJTF-HOA "employs an indirect approach to counter violent extremism. We conduct operations to strengthen partner nation and regional security capacity to enable long-term regional stability, prevent conflict and protect U.S. and Coalition interests." (CJTF-HOA, AFRICOM) "Djibouti is of high strategic importance to U.S. national interest, because of its relative stability and political climate, its strategic location and the economic impact it has in the region as a transport hub. United States interest in Djibouti focuses on creating an environment that would discourage the development of radical ideology." (USAID, 2006)
POLICY TOWARD U.S. AND WORLD
Djibouti is affected by the political climate in neighboring countries. For this reason they look to be a player in the region by hosting talks, such as the "Somali reconciliation talks in 2008-2009 (the "Djibouti Process")." (State.gov)
In recent developments with on the issue of piracy Japan has a contingent of troops in Djibouti to assist in the anti-piracy issues. The most significant of this development is that on April 25th, 2010 Japan announced that it would open its first military base outside of its borders in Djibouti. (Goujon)
The need for good relations with Western and pro-Western nations in Djibouti creates a quasi-dependence on international assistance and aid and their export/import business. The U.S. is currently has the biggest economic impact in the capital of Djibouti.
Ethiopia continues to be a major economic resource due to the need to export through Djibouti, as it is landlocked. However, recently Ethiopian businesses have pushed to find a cheaper route to the sea through Kenya. (Gulf-times, Reuters) With this development China is set to be the largest investor in Djibouti in the coming years, even overshadowing the US's economic impact.
Chinese will be Djibouti's biggest investors next year and in 2012, Guelleh
said. "The Chinese will help make the port of Djibouti the biggest hub in this
region. That will cost nearly half a billion U.S. dollars," he said.
"We'll have an electrified railway from Djibouti to Addis Ababa - also by the
Chinese. And we'll have geothermal energy. And we are in discussions with
French investors (about) wind farms.
By Martina Fuchs; Abdourahim Arteh - March 21, 2010
Overall, the main concern of Djibouti is its economic development. It plays a major role to its neighbors through its international shipping port, its shared railroad with Ethiopia, and its willingness to play host to peace talks. The desire for stability in the area is two-fold; the want for security, and the want for more economic development.
ANALYSIS OF RELATIONS BETWEEN U.S. AND DJIBOUTI
The impact of the United States' involvement in the Global War on Terror and partnership with Djibouti will long be felt. The direct economic impact that the U.S. has had helps fill shortfalls in revenue for the government of Djibouti, as well as the population at large. In the short term the U.S. has established a military base, helped ensure security, and brought US dollars into a small country that previously depended upon trading partnerships with landlocked nations that surround it. Djibouti offers a stable government that the US can rely on with relative certainty. The strategic goals of Djibouti, (increasing its economy and employing its population), coincide with the strategic goals of the US, (influencing populations in a positive manner to prevent further terrorism). This strong partnership benefits both nations, surprisingly perhaps, almost on an equal level.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT, FUTURE EXPECTATIONS
The United States finds itself in a region that is hostile, and possibly was at a high risk of having a complete negative opinion of the US which, according to the US Government, would result in an easy target for terrorist recruits. Djibouti lands in the middle of a war on terror, however without military commitments. It has secured a contract with the U.S. for its base (Camp Lemonier) through 2015, and as recently as THIS WEEK, has also secured an agreement with Japan to house troops inside of its borders.
The Global War on Terror, a result of the September 11th attacks, continues to be of vital importance to U.S. National Security. This war stretches across borders, countries, and continents. The need for Djibouti to have a U.S. military presence is almost as high as the need for the U.S. to have a presence in that area. With Somalia a failed state and Yemen struggling to form a strong government that can deal with the real issue of terrorists in their country the United States believes its role in the region can be more than just that of a forward operating base in the area, but also an olive branch to neighboring nations.
Djibouti and the United States should find themselves to be close allies for many years, if not decades to come, even as the United States loses its place as Djibouti's main economic investor. As China strives to be a major player in the future of Djibouti's economy, the U.S. will remain the strongest military ally Djibouti can have.
I'm looking for organizational tips, is it coherent? Rambling? Pointed?
Gaining its' independence in 1977, the Republic of Djibouti is a small sized country surrounded by limited resources and in hostile region.
Take out the apostrophe from "its." The country isn't really surrounded by limited resources. You'd be better off saying that it has limited resources. Likewise, are you saying that the countries and the governments that surround Djibouti are hostile or that the region (the geography and landscape) is hostile? AND ... Djibouti isn't really surrounded because it borders the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Hostile neighbors? Make your meaning clearer in the second part of this sentence.
Following their independence, Djibouti was left with two primary ethnic groups. (BBC 2010)
Use "its" instead of "their." Djibouti is a singular noun. If you are using MLA style, put the punctuation on the outside of the parentheses.
The Afars and the Issas, whereas the first president was an Issa, he created "an authoritarian one-party state." (BBC 2010)
This isn't making as much sense as it could. The first part is a fragment that doesn't relate to anything else. I might combine the first part of this sentence with the previous sentence for better flow. Following its independence, Djibouti was left with two primary ethnic groups--the Afars and the Issas (BBC 2010). The first president, an Issa, created "an authoritarian one-party state" (BBC 2010).
in addition to many 'off-shoots' that resulted from the resentment.
I am not sure what you mean by off-shoots or why it is in single quotation marks.
Sorry that is all I have time for. I need to hit my own homework before hitting the sack.