Ethiopia: Understanding the Conflict and the Prospects for Peace


Colonel Bruce Sweeney

U.S. Army (Retired)


The Horn of Africa, which includes Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan, is one of the world’s most conflict-prone and fragile regions. This strategic area has been immersed in conflict in one form or another since 1974. In addition, both protracted conflict and climate-driven drought have also propelled widespread famine of crisis proportions in the Horn of Africa. Recently, a ceasefire appears to have been established in Ethiopia and peace talks have started, allowing food aid to be delivered to starving people in the Tigray region of the country. Thus, in at least one part of the world, politics may end on a hopeful note at the close of 2022.

Our December speaker, Colonel Bruce Sweeney, served as Defense Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 2012 to 2014. In his talk, Colonel Sweeney will discuss the strategic area of the Horn of Africa, with a
special focus on Ethiopia, its history, and the difficulty of keeping its neighbors and provinces at peace.

Thomas (Bruce) Sweeney retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of colonel. Most recently, he served as a Military Professor and the Foreign Area Officer Chair in the Department of National Security Affairs at the U.S.
Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey. An Army Foreign Area Officer, Colonel Sweeney speaks French, Hungarian, and Russian. His most recent assignment before NPS was as Defense Attaché and Senior Defense Official in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has also served as Defense Attaché in Paris, Kabul, and Budapest. Colonel Sweeney has extensive overseas experience in almost every region of the world: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific, and South Asia.


  • Monday, December 19, 2022
  • 11:30 am: Registration
  • 12:00 pm: Luncheon
  • 12:45 pm: Program


  • Caesar Salad
  • Grilled Chicken Caponata Topped with Olives and Capers and Served on a Bed of Creamy Polenta
  • Seasonal Vegetables
  • Fresh Bread and Butter
  • Classic Tiramisu
  • Coffee, Decaf, and Tea
  • Vegetarian Option: Grilled Portabella Mushrooms Topped with Olives and Capers and Served on a Bed of Creamy Polenta


  • $36 for members
  • $41 for guests
Important: You Must Provide Proof of Full Covid-19 Vaccination in Order to Attend

All those attending WACMB in-person events must show proof of full Covid-19 vaccination, including a booster.

To prove your vaccination status, you can present either your vaccination card or your State of California QR code.

You only need to present such proof once. Your documentation will be noted, and that box will be automatically checked for future meetings.

For the time being, no auditors will be permitted to attend any WACMB in-person meetings. This is to ensure that every person in the room has been vaccinated and boosted.

Thank you for your cooperation with our efforts to keep our members healthy!


Reservations are due by December 14.

Refunds are not available after the due date listed above.

Registration is now closed.


Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey
1000 Aguajito Road
Monterey, CA 93923

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