Safirka: An American Envoy
Kent State University Press, 2000 - 241 pages
Peter S. Bridges's service as an American ambassador to Somalia capped his three decades as a career officer in the American Foreign Service. Safirka, a frank description of his experiences in Somalia and elsewhere, offers pointed assessments of American foreign policy and policymakers. Bridges recounts his service in Panama during a time of turmoil over the Canal; in Moscow during the Cuban missile crisis; in Prague for bleak years after the Soviet invasion; in Rome when Italian terrorists first began to target Americans; and in key positions in three Washington agencies.
In Somalia Bridges managed the largest American aid program in sub-Sahara Africa. He dealt with a postcolonial regime, hobbled both by traditional clan rivalries and by a leader who cared far less about Somalia's people and progress than about maintaining his control over that poverty-stricken, strategic - which soon erupted in civil war.
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Returning to Rome in 1966 , we found Fiats everywhere and a booming economy
, major social and political problems , and the opportunity to discuss these
problems with a sophisticated class of intellectuals , journalists , diplomats , and ...
But there were two serious problems . The first problem , which Lou Cohen of AID
soon brought to my attention , was that the surrounding countryside , which was
supposed to benefit from irrigation water coming from a big reservoir behind the ...
At least the Somali refugee problem was not as big or quite so complicated as the
Palestinian and Afghan problems . But the longer it was with us the worse it
would get . Never , during my tour of duty in Somalia , did we get UNHCR to
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