The Battle of Mogadishu

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On October 4th, 1993, Task Force Ranger, the operational name for a joint Army force of rangers, Delta Force Commandos, and supporting helicopter crews faced the Somalian militias on what was later described as one of the bloodiest American fights in recent history. The conflict started on December 1992, after the United Nations asked the outgoing Bush administration to deliver food to thousands of people starving to death in Somalia, Africa, specifically the city of Mogadishu. The city of Mogadishu is located in the middle of the Southern half of the Somalian coastline, and serves as the nation’s capital. The shipments intended for the starving Somalis were ending in the hands of warlords throughout the “Horn of Africa,” which used the much needed aid as a source of power. The American response to this atrocity was to send 28,900 US troops who landed on the beaches of Somalia to start Operation Restore Hope and ensure the distribution of food to the needy.

To understand events leading up to the battle of Mogadishu, you must first understand what sparked Somalia into clan rebellion, fighting, famine, and utter chaos.1 In 1919, a man by the name of Mohamed Said Barre was born into an Italian Somaliland clan known as Daarood. By 1941, at the age of twenty-two Barre had joined the Somali police force and rose to the position of Chief inspector. In 1950 Barre left to the military academy in Italy, and later returned in 1960 only to transfer into the Somali national Army. In 1966, Barre held the rank of Major General in the Somalian national army. In 1969 Barre would stage a military coup and seize control of the Somalian government. He then imposed a dictatorship which would outlaw clan loyalties.2 He did t...

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... force. For example, the request for AC130 Spectre gunship support was requested and denied due to the administration wanting to “decrease the US presence”. The provision of this backup along with armor plating for vehicles could have potentially saved the lives of many. In conclusion, the key lesson learned, is that you never go into a fight outgunned, outnumbered, or with your hands tied behind your back due to political reasons.

Works Cited

Allard, C. Kenneth. Somalia operations lessons learned. Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1995.

Chun, Clayton K. S.. Gothic Serpent: Black Hawk Down, Mogadishu 1993. Oxford, UK: Osprey Pub., 2012.

The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. "Mohamed Siad Barre (president of Somalia)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. (accessed March 8, 2014).

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