On December 5, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, asked supporters to submit questions they thought should be asked of Robert Gates at his confirmation hearings in the Senate. I submitted the following:
Will you call off the Special Operations forces based in Djibouti who are now meddling in Somalia and undercutting local efforts to achieve peace between the fragile transitional government and the reform-minded Islamic Courts (an effort we should be encouraging, not sabotaging)?
As a former U.S. ambassador to Somalia, I believe our role should be limited to (a) enforcing the U.N. arms embargo, (b) discouraging other nations from intervening militarily, and (c) supporting good-faith conciliation efforts.
T. Frank Crigler