The United States had demonstrated its military superiority worldwide with its lightning victory over Iraq in 1991. As the only superpower in the world, few would argue that Washington could not prevail in a conventional conflict. Humanitarian missions, however, were another story. Although the United States had experience in a few humanitarian missions, it had just concluded operations in northern Iraq, and was soon to support the United Nations program to help the people in a failed state - Somalia.
Somalia was falling apart; it had ceased to exist as a country. Warring tribes had reduced it into an area controlled by warlords. Clan and internecine warfighting had caused major disruption in Somali life. Starvation was a weapon used by the clans. Humanitarian aid and relief arrived but, without security, this support provided little help to the people. On 15 August 1992, President George H.W. Bush ordered military units to airlift supplies into Kenya under Operation Provide Relief. These supplies would enter Somalia with international relief organizations. Still, clans stole the aid for themselves, harassed international relief agencies, extorted money, and allowed starvation to continue. By 8 December, Bush ordered Marines, the US Army's 10th Mountain Division, and Special Forces into Somalia to help UN forces bring order. Some 13,000 American military personnel became part of a security force of 38,000 from UN countries. This massive force helped stabilize Somalia, but the warring factions waited for an opportunity to reassert themselves. By October 1993, the UN security force had shrunk to 16,000, with 4,000 Americans. Two Somali warlords - Muhamed Farrah Aideed and Ali Mahdi Mohamed - had been fighting over control of the capital and main port of Mogadishu.
A raid on 3 October, TF Ranger's seventh, aimed at capturing high-ranking Aideed aides initially succeeded with a surprise assault in Mogadishu. While transferring the prisoners to a co...
Clayton K.S. Chun, Ph.D., is on the U.S. Army War College faculty at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania where he teaches courses on national security, strategy, and economics. He completed a military career in the U.S. Air Force and has published work in the fields of national security, military history, and economics.
This item will be delivered to you via USPS Trackable Media Mail or UPS Mail Innovations and will take from 2 days to 3 weeks from the time the item leaves our warehouse. *
Items must be returned in new or unused condition and contain all original materials included with the shipment. More details
FINAL SALE EXCLUSION: Items marked as FINAL SALE are not returnable unless the problem you experience is the result of our error.
* For your safety, some orders go through our loss prevention department. If we select your order for this process, we will immediately notify you that there may be up to a 3-day delay on your order.
** Most Oversize orders are delivered within 1-4 weeks. Some orders may take 6 weeks to be delivered.