The Ethiopian War of 1935-1936 seems to have marked a clear watershed in Mussolini's foreign policy. To understand the issues involved, some analysis is needed of Italo-Ethiopian relations in the years that followed the 1928 arbitration treaty. But the key passage shows Mussolini's anxiety about the process of centralisation which was taking place under Haile Selassie, together with his spurious concern for the authority of the local chieftains who had been keeping Ethiopia in a state of anarchy which was grist to the Italian mill. The final point about the Ethiopian War is the degree to which it formed part of a long term strategy on Mussolini's part. As he dreamed of launching his invasion of Ethiopia in March 1935, Mussolini did say after all 'and afterwards we shall conquer Egypt and the Sudan'.