This is part two of the series Augmented Political Warfare. Follow this link to read Part One.

In 2020 and 2021, two regional hegemons, and anchor nations of their respective regions, found themselves at odds with successive administrations in the White House. These 2 nations pride themselves as millennia-old civilizations that have survived into the modern era, and are now republics committed to honoring their priceless historical achievements. Also, these nations are currently led by nationalist governments that are fighting armed secessionist rebels and violent Islamists. These two countries are China and Ethiopia, and both have faced augmented political warfare waged by USG with support from some EU nations. This enhanced political warfare has achieved varying levels of success in each of the targeted nations because one nation countered it with wit and valor, and the other was forced to cede an entire region to a non-state actor. This has exposed the latter nation to regime change schemes.

Offensive Realism

Unlike China which has been using offensive realism to promote its interests, Ethiopia’s use of offensive realism has been limited while the focus on defensive realism has been hamstrung by domestic ethno-regional conflicts. This has exposed Ethiopia to sustained information warfare, which has used Western mainstream media, civil society organizations, and humanitarian non-governmental organizations to spearhead a narrative framing campaign that has created a set of narratives that disadvantage GoE.

American and European governments have used these publicized narratives to criticize, condemn, and sanction officials of the Ethiopian government. The Ethiopian military has bore the brunt of these reprobations, with the US-based Genocide Watch and Finland’s Foreign Minister accusing it (ENDF) and the Federal Government of conducting a genocidal campaign in Tigray.

This has exposed Ethiopia to sustained information warfare that has used Western mainstream media, civil society organizations, and humanitarian non-governmental organizations to spearhead a narrative framing campaign that has created a set of narratives that disadvantage GoE

Geopolitics Press

Narrative Framing and Moral Victory

Narrative framing is an accepted strategy in any form of fourth-generation warfare (4GW), and it serves to create a frame of reference that is to be used in information warfare. In the Tigray crisis, narrative framing has benefited the TPLF and capacitated it to win the moral high ground over ENDF, with this victory being secured at a fraction of the cost that GoE is forced to spend to counter it.

Most importantly, there has been no effective narrative management by GoE. This has allowed the narrative of a weak, incapable, and abusive GoE to dominate the airwaves, media spaces, and public consciousness. This has given USG the conviction to publicly denounce GoE, impose economic sanctions, and issue threats of military action.

For Egypt, the fallout between the Biden administration and Abiy’s government has worked in its favor as showcased by public support that the United States Military, through its Central Command (CENTCOM), has offered to the Egyptian government.

In June 2021, during an interview with Nile News TV, CENTCOM’s commander, General Kenneth McKenzie, admitted that “GERD is very concerning to us”, and praised Egypt for “showing real leadership” regarding the GERD conflict. “I think Egypt is actually exercising enormous statesmanlike restraint as it tries to find a political, diplomatic solution to this problem”, General McKenzie elaborated (ibid). It should be recalled that in 2010, Egypt and Sudan had drawn up a plan to destroy any Ethiopian dam which would have impacted the downstream streamflow of the Blue Nile, with Sudan allowing Egypt to establish a lodgment of Egyptian commandos in Kusti. CENTCOM’s backing adds further support to Egypt’s lobbying in the Arab League and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

In June 2021, the Arab League called on the UNSC to intervene in the GERD crisis, as well as required member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council to take “gradual measures to support Egypt and Sudan”, a resolution that Qatar supported.

PHOTO to the right is the Flag of the Arab League. CREDIT: Wikipedia

With the rift between USG and GoE widening, can Ethiopians trust USG to be an impartial mediator in the GERD conflict?

USG has been warning that Abiy Ahmed’s government is driving Ethiopia to the verge of a violent implosion, with Secretary Antony Blinken blaming this state of affairs on the “continued presence of Eritrean forces in Tigray (which) further undermines Ethiopia’s stability and national unity”. Secretary Blinken then called on “the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) to withdraw Amhara regional forces from the Tigray region and ensure that effective control of western Tigray is returned to the Transitional Government of Tigray”.

Considering the criticisms from the Biden Administration that Ethiopia is unstable and can implode, one can ask this question: Is the US at peace with itself?

Is America at Peace with Itself?

On June 20, 2021, an apologia for Antifa and the Democratic Party written by columnist Doyle McManus, for the Los Angeles Times, denounced former President Donald Trump for – what the author described as – refusal to accept defeat and attempt at getting the Republican Party “to fight to restore him to power”. Interestingly, TPLF has been accused of being driven by revanchist ambitions and seeking to use armed means to restore itself back to power.

McManus quotes Daniel Drezner of Tufts University who claims that the Republican Party (GOP) has turned into the American version of Hezbollah, “a (Republican) party that also has an armed wing to coerce other political actors through violence”. So, what was the reason for such denunciation? The reason is pretty simple, the columnist is castigating Americans who marched to the Capitol on January 6, 2020.

When Rep. Andrew Cylde compared the march to “a normal tourist visit”, and Rep.Paul Gosar called out the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for “harassing peaceful patriots”, McManus became alarmed. McManus is reading an ominous sign from their statements – that the GOP has normalized violence in order to keep the support of Republicans who fear that “the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it”. In the same piece, McManus claims that retired Lt.Gen Michael Flynn said that a “Myanmar-like coup should happen here (in the US)”.

McManus opinionated commentary highlights how much political factionalism has encumbered the American body politics, an issue that was raised in the Fall of 2020 by National Affairs in a published post that was adapted from the book Never Trump: The Revolt of the Conservative Elites. The post describes how political demoderation and negative partisanship risk the future of the US. If external political warfare is added to this domestic political factionalism, then the prospect of violent domestic opposition against USG cannot be ruled out. In fact, Alexander Dugin has raised the prospect of synergizing external political warfare with domestic American factionalism to weaken the United States and hamstrung its capacity to project power to Russia’s near abroad.

In Ethiopia, political factionalism and irreconcilable differences between TPLF and GoE led to the eruption of war in November 2020, with GoE describing its offensive against TPLF as a “Law and Order Operation” whose goals are to preserve the constitutional order and territorial integrity of the largest and most populous nation in the Horn of Africa (region). This created the Tigray Crisis that exposed GoE to augmented political warfare. The non-kinetic operations of this special form of warfare are coordinated by a Command and Control Fusion Center. This is the topic of the next post.

The featured image shows the wreck of a downed C130 transport plane that TPLF claims to have shot down. PHOTO CREDIT: Getachew Reda

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  1. Truth is may be beyond the Almighty God we Ethiopians belongs to our God who stands truly with his citizens.political mess and fallacy may continuous for moment but the truth must winner.and the miss interpretation and miss understanding about Ethiopian defense force farfare with terrorist tplf is obvious but im sorry abot us and unsc stand with falsely

  2. We Ethiopians, both Muslims and Christians trust in God. We stood against fascism alone when our Emperor was ridiculed at the League of Nation. History is repeating itself even now. Ethiopia warns those who fan our domestic problem and internationalize it. The effect could engulf the world. I thought the world had learned a good lesson from the Emperor’s warning who said then, ” today it is Ethiopia that is the victim tomorrow it could be you. Forget your joke about human rights. Where in the world have you ever respected human rights. It is laughable.

  3. Why this is reported here? Why this page deletes important comments and do not publish some here? Because this is part of the conspiracies and the game. Please my people don’t put here all your mind.

  4. Thank you for your analytic remarks. I am convinced that the weird position of USG with TPLF terrorist gangster will have ugly consequences right in the heart of America .Almost all Tigrean living in USA and European nations are, in one way or another, linked with these gang leaders. Most of them have been acquainted with looting others resources covered by the system, frauds money laundering, and cyber attacks. These are current and potential threats of where ever they are residing.

    One out standing point I would like to mention is that the current Biden-Harris administration has created the two face of America. The domestic and the foreign. By extremely engaging Biden in the domestic issue, particularly of COVID 19, The foreign America has been fallen in the hands of the ‘unknown’. The tribal linked Blinken-BorrellF network maneuvers this network that extends from UK, France, Finland, Ireland, Slovakia, Israel, Norway, USA, Belgium, and some other nations. The so called US policy in the HoA led by Jeffrey Feltman by no means brings about benefits of America as a nation nor of its people. Its primary beneficial seems clandestine force that work by making hostage of American politics. This is the danger. The Senate and Congress, who are genuinely serve the people of America need urgency to hold the foreign office, security advising body, and USAID official before things go out of their control.
    Currently, USA seems in the hands of an invisible sort of colonizing force.

    Ethiopia, and of course Eritrea here considered to obstacles. Thus, targeted either bend them towards their objectives or pushed them out of the matrix of the actors in HoA. It seems these group chosen the later and went to Kenya and Sudan to boost them up taking the driver’s seat.

  5. Hi gentle man from the other world; I really have great respect for outstanding analysis about the war wage on The Government of Ethiopia (GOE) by the EU and US. I would like to ask question. Why the west and Government of United State chronic pain to GOE? The editorial may have good knowledge of ETHIOPIA that we never been colonized by any of the westerner and the US. This historical pain open the door for those who have long agenda on Ethiopia because the tplf mascaraed Northern army, his own brothers and sisters who fought and protect him from the invaders. As you know, we fought in ADWA with our bare hand while the Italian force have tanks, guns and bombs. All the forces that you mentioned above in the article still tiring to demonize the GOE because the Abyi’s Government does not have separationist idea. The American mind set is still in the colony time. I can argue this the for fathers of Biden may have 100‘s of slave. The Ethiopian people are more united than ever we do not have fear to fight with Sudan and Egypt they know our hands centaury back. We will fight and built the Dam and cultivate our land and from now on, we do not want foreign food aid from any of the nation in the world.

  6. As long as Ethiopian people are united, no outside forces can brake it up, even with the support of insiders who wish to see Ethiopia dismembered. The unity of the Ethiopian people is a blessing in disguise, the unwarranted and unnecessary attack on the northern command by TPLF brought. TPLF committed a political suicide, relying on their hard work of 27 yrs of sowing division between different ethnic groups to erupt.The unity of the Ethiopian people was also the unforeseen and unexpected outcome for all foreign political actors. Going forward, that might lessen their interferences. Unless a country fractures from inside with the help of a faction, they know their impact is minimized. That’s how Ethiopians historically are, protective of their motherland when it comes to outsiders or insiders that wish to destroy it. Sanctions or not, Ethiopia will not bow to outside pressure to a negotiation table with those who stood to destroy the country.

    Ethiopia is a Holy place for Christians and Muslims alike, and God will always protect the country.