Operations In Somalia Case Study

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The United States deployed forces to Somalia from 1992 to 1994 to conduct humanitarian assistance and peace operations as part of Operations Provide Relief and Restore Hope in support of a greater United Nations (U.N.) effort. During the course of these operations, which included the expansion of the mission after the transition from a mostly United States (U.S.) led effort to that of a U.N.-led effort, a sequence of events changed the course of the mission eventually leading to catastrophic strategic results that played out on a world stage during the Battle of Mogadishu. Indisputably, poor decisions and avoidable events occurred leading up to the Battle of Mogadishu that arguably contributed to the disastrous results that are archived in…show more content…
American forces were confronted with the formidable challenge of deploying 28,000 people approximately 8,000 miles to an arcane and austere environment. Somalia was a country whose lines of communication were virtually non-existent comprised of primitive airfields, underdeveloped seaports, and limited and dilapidated road networks that did not link to population centers. There were also no functioning telephone systems. Public works, essential services, a governing body, and state institutions were entirely absent as there was no electricity, no water, no food, no government, and no economy. The impact on American and coalition forces was profound and summarized best by U.S. Central Command’s (CENTCOM) top commander, General Hoar, “deploying to Somalia was like going to the moon: everything needed had to be brought in or built there.” The region’s remoteness from U.S. operating facilities, the low desert terrain, and size, coupled with the aforementioned lack of a government, an economy, and lines of communication posed several challenges that plagued the…show more content…
and international intervention. The clan, which is central to the Somali cultural ideology, is prone to form temporary alliances to oppose outsiders. A factor extremely detrimental to peacekeeping operations if ignored is that “guns and aggressiveness, including the willingness to accept casualties, are intrinsic parts of this culture, with women and children considered part of the clan’s order of battle.” By early 1992, the drought conditions had ravaged the country leading to more than one-half million Somalis already dead from starvation and more than a million more threatened. These conditions led to the uncontrollable spread of clan warfare and thievery throughout the country. Given the magnitude of the operational environment, peacekeeping forces were faced with the daunting task of reversing the effects of the widespread famine by moving enough food, water, and medicine into a relatively primitive country, while simultaneously providing security to protect the relief supplies from thieving bandits and confiscation by the clans and warring

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