President Obama’s decision to deploy troops to South Sudan two months ago and calls to sell massive amounts of weapons to the new nation were mostly ignored. At the time, few saw it as a major threat, but with the prospect of a war breaking out along the border with Sudan, those US troops threaten to drag the US into yet another conflict.
The latest clash centers around a dispute over the border, and Sudan has sent warplanes over the provincial capital of one of South Sudan’s regions. South Sudan’s Information Ministry is claiming that the warplanes also bombed an oilfield in the area.
Both sides claim that the other started the fight, and Sudanese officials claimed that the South Sudanese military is being backed by Darfur rebels. South Sudan has been autonomous since 2005, but only formally independent since July.
Since South Sudan’s independence came in the wake of a particularly ugly, multi-decade civil war, it should be no surprise that tensions are already threatening to suck it into another war. The Obama Administration’s eagerness to throw its weight behind South Sudan, however, threatens to turn the ongoing border dispute into a broad regional conflict.