Ashley Cheek


Flora Lewis, “Ethiopia Peers West,” The New York Times, January 30, 1990.


Main Point:


The main point of the article states that now the Soviet-era communist nations (such as East Germany) have pulled back substantially out of Ethiopia because of the end of the Cold War, its government as now begun to seek new alliances with “Westernized” nations, such as the U.S. and Israel.




This hungry, war-torn African nation has endured thousands of years of war and famine, only to be “rescued” by the Soviet Union during Ethiopia’s ongoing war against rebel factions in Eritrea. This strategic relationship lasted until the end of the Soviet Union, at which time much of the funding and supply-lines for both weapons and food dried up.


The nation, under the leadership of Mengistu Haile Mariam has now begun to ask for support and outside investment from nations such as the U.S. and Israel. However, with up to 60% of government income going into military uses, investors remain skittish and the governments are not sure how to regard the nation.


Israel has supported non-Arab nations around themselves for a long time, and Ethiopia has prided themselves a non-Islamic country surrounded by Arabs, which has Israel considering whether to support them regime or not. This puts Israel somewhat at odds with the U.S, which considers the region somewhat irrelevant and dangerous since the collapse of the Soviet Union.