Scenes from Djibouti, Camp Lemonier, and the U.S. military"s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa
I have to admit that for all my world travels and all my interest in geography and foreign affairs, I still had to pull out an atlas when I started hearing about the interesting things happening in Djibouti.
In early 2007, I traveled to Djibouti to report for public radio documentary project sponsored by the Stanley Foundation (full disclosure: my employer) and KQED Public Radio in San Francisco. With me were co-producer Kristin McHugh from the foundation and correspondent Malcolm Brown from Feature Story News.
The story we found is an amazing effort by the U.S. military to use decidedly non-military methods as part of the global war on terror. This gallery contains photos and more details about the investigation.
I just visited the headquarters of the U.S. military"s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) headquartered at Camp Lemonier in the tiny nation of Djibouti. The trip was part of the reporting effort for a public radio documentary, produced by the Stanley Foundation (full disclosure: my employer) and KQED San Francisco.
I was deeply impressed by the people and the mission of CJTF-HOA. Their mission is to fight terrorism with what most people would call basic human kindness.
They want to promote stability in the region by providing humanitarian assistance and kick-starting economic development. The goal is to take away the fertile soil for terrorist recruiting by digging wells, building schools, and providing services (like medical and veterinary care).
This is the central area of camp, often referred to as "downtown." It includes a couple of shops, a coffee house, and access to an impressive gym and fitness center.
The U.S. military"s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) headquartered at Camp Lemonier in the tiny nation of Djibouti has a unique mission to prevent conflict using traditional economic and social development tools.
The U.S. military"s Combined Joint Task