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Nicole Stevenson
Somalia has been described as the The Worlds Most Dangerous Place.
(Fergusson This countr! has become a ver! im"ortant countr! in #merican $oreign
"olic!. This "a"er %ill describe the relationshi" bet%een #merica and Somalia as %ell as
ho% it has changed over time and has led to multi"le &S interventions (both covert and
overt on Somalian soil. Somalia had been a territor! o$ 'tal! and (ritain "rior to its
inde"endence in the )*+,s. Since that da! Somalia has become a serious "roblem $or the
&nited States and man! other countries. 'n addition to the militar! action b! #merica
and the &N during the Somali civil %ar- the la%lessness %hich has "lagued the countr!
has led to &nited States intervention due to "irac!- .idna""ing and terrorism.
Somalia is a com"licated "lace. The "eo"le o$ the countr! are largel! Muslim-
but the! arent e/actl! either #rab or #$rican. Somalis are an ethnic grou" that is
re"resented in its neighboring countries as %ell. 0o%ever- Somalis are also bro.en u"
into clans based on their $amilies and the! $eel a stronger bond to them than an! central
government. # Somali "roverb sho%s the .ind o$ belligerent attitude that t!"i$ies
' against m! brother.
' and m! brother against m! $amil!.
' and m! $amil! against the clan.
' and m! clan against Somalia.
' and Somalia against the %orld. (((ahadur- 2*
(ecause o$ the strategic location o$ Somalia- the &nited States and &nited Nations have
to %or. against this attitude to .ee" the countr! $rom disru"ting the region. The $ailure
o$ a strong central government to emerge $rom a devastating civil %ar created $oreign
"olic! "roblems %hich have not been $ull! solved even toda! des"ite the "resence o$ an
elected government in Somalia. Somalia %ith its 3, "lus !ears o$ la%lessness- $oreign
occu"ation and continuous "eace .ee"ing missions might be the %orlds $oremost
e/am"le o$ a $ailed state. (Traub
Somalia during the Barre Regime
During the 4old War- the &nited States and the &SS5 com"eted to ma.e allies
%ith countries all over the %orld. Somalia lies in the 0orn o$ #$rica %here it lies
bet%een the Persian 6ul$ and the Sue7 4anal. This ma.es the countr! strategicall!
im"ortant even though it does not have a lot o$ resources and most o$ its land is non8
arable. The &nited States had attem"ted to in$luence Somalia soon a$ter its inde"endence
in the )*+,s %ith aid- but alienated them b! its su""ort o$ Somalias historical rival
9thio"ia. (Stevenson- )+ # cou" b! the militar! led to 4ommunist rule o$ the countr!
$or more than 3, !ears. (N:o.u- )); The leader o$ the cou"- Siad (arre- headed the
Somali government $rom )*+2 until )**). The Somalia government under (arre chose to
side %ith the 5ussians and began receiving aid bac. in the )*+,s. The Somalia militar!
%as built u" to one o$ the regions strongest %ith 5ussias hel". (N:o.u- )3* Mean%hile-
the &nited States countered the 5ussian in$luence in Somalia b! giving aid to the
neighboring 9thio"ians during the same "eriod. 0o%ever- once the long time 9m"eror o$
9thio"ia- 0aile Selassie- and his government %as de"osed b! a Mar/ist cou" in )*<=-
ever!thing changed. Mengistu 0aile Mariams socialist government attracted the su""ort
o$ the 5ussians.
Neither the &nited Stated nor Soviet &nion $ull! understood the lengths that the
ethnic Somalis %ould go to in order to create a greater Somalia. Somalis live in several
countries in the 0orn o$ #$rica including Somalia- 9thio"ia and D:ibouti. (Stevenson- 3
The Somalian government %anted to unite all Somalis in one countr! and attac.ed
9thio"ia to tr! to gain control over all ethnic Somalian territor!. The dis"uted territor! o$
>gaden %as invaded b! the Somalis and suddenl! t%o Soviet clients %ere at %ar b!
)*<2. (Stevenson- )* With the hel" o$ an arm! o$ 4ubans su""lied b! the Soviets- the
9thio"ians drove out the invaders. The &nited States then ste""ed in to su""ort the
Somalis %ho in the 4old War environment a""eared to be- a tough- cohesive "eo"le
$ighting $iercel! against a Soviet 4lient. (Stevenson- ?. The! didnt .no% %hat the!
%ere getting into@
The Somali government %ea.ened as the 4old War ended and eventuall! a civil
%ar began bet%een the government and a number o$ guerilla grou"s. Somalia is
com"osed o$ a large number o$ clans and $urther subdivided into at least 3; sub8clans.
(Stevenson- ? While the government %as in $ull "o%er o$ the countr! some o$ the clans
%ere treated better than others b! (arre. When in his old age he could no longer control
the countr!- the $euds bet%een clans %ere allo%ed to boil over. The Darod clan and
Marehan %as dominant in the government under (arre %ho %as a member o$ both.
(Stevenson- ; # turning "oint in the histor! came %hen (arres son in la% Morgan-
%ho %as trained in Aansas b! the &nited States #rm! at Washingtons invitation- became
head o$ the Somali militar!. &nder his leadershi"- the arm! attac.ed the to%n o$ 0argeisa
%hich %as a center $or the rebellious Somali National Movement (SNM reducing the
to%n to rubble and causing hundreds o$ thousands o$ re$ugees to $lee to 9thio"ia.
(Stevenson- ?3 The arm! and securit! $orces .illed thousands o$ rebels as %ell as
innocent civilians %hile tr!ing to control the situation.
Somali Civil War
During the )*2,s the &nited States continued to su""ort the Somali government
and (arre %ith both militar! and humanitarian aid. 0o%ever- as the o""osition to the
(arre government increased (coinciding %ith the end o$ the 4old War- the &nited States
reconsidered its "osition on Somali aid. #$ter over a decade o$ su""ort $or Siad (arre
and his regime- in )*2* #merican aid to Somalia %as cut to almost 7ero. (Stevenson- ??
(ecause o$ the colla"se o$ the Soviet &nion at the end o$ the 4old War- there %as no one
le$t to turn to $or (arre and his government. The arm! attac.ed rebel strongholds in all
"arts o$ the countr! in an attem"t to regain control. (! then the rebellion had come to the
ca"ital o$ Mogadishu. The government began to e/ecute its o""onents in Mogadishu and
im"osed a cur$e% on the cit!. (Stevenson- ?3 #t the end o$ )**,- o"en %ar$are %as
ha""ening on the streets o$ the cit! %ith atrocities coming $rom both sides. (arres man!
enemies eventuall! :oined $orces b! )**) and began attac.ing on all $ronts.
#merica %as le$t %ondering %hat to do and %ho to su""ort as Mogadishu
colla"sed around (arre. The chaos in the cit! $orced the &nited States to send in the
Marines to evacuate the recentl! built &nited States 9mbass! be$ore rebels could loot it
in earl! Banuar! )**). (Stevenson- ?= (! the end o$ the month (arre had abandoned
Mogadishu $or the Aen!an border. 'n Mogadishu t%o rival $actions claimed to re"resent
the Somali "eo"le. #li Mahdi %as declared President o$ Somalia- but the %arlord %ho
had led the assault on Mogadishu- Mohamed #idad- dis"uted this. (N:o.u- )=)
Mean%hile- in the northern "art o$ the countr! the SNM declared itsel$ the government
$or an inde"endent Somaliland. #ll o$ the coo"eration that had been needed to de$eat
(arre disintegrated. What %as le$t o$ the countr! %as "lunged into chaos. 9s"eciall!
a$$ected %as Mogadishu %here the su""orters o$ both #idad and Mahdi began to $ight
o"enl! in the streets. The cit! %as divided %ith Mahdis lo!alists controlling in the north
and #idads in the southern "art. The t%o sides traded artiller! $ire during the last $e%
months o$ )**) and reduced much o$ Mogadishu to rubble. (Stevenson- ?; Thousands
o$ $ighters and civilians %ere .illed adding to the casualties that had occurred earlier
during the battle to ca"ture the cit! $rom (arre.
Operation Restore Hope
The civil %ar had caused %ides"read death and destruction- but it also had caused
hundreds o$ thousands o$ Somalis to be dis"laced or homeless. During )**) a number o$
other $actors came into "la!. The %ides"read $ighting in the countr! disru"ted
agriculture- the e$$ect o$ %hich %as am"li$ied b! a drought %hich occurred at the same
time. This caused %ides"read $ood shortages %hich resulted in serious $amine %ithin
Somalia. (N:o.u- )== Man! organi7ations and $oreign countries including the &nited
States res"onded to the images o$ starving children b! organi7ing relie$ "rograms.
0o%ever- the lac. o$ governmental control in the region resulted in much o$ the $ood
being stolen or %ithheld $rom those in need. #n estimated ?,,-,,, "eo"le died and u" to
3 million more %ere dis"laced as a result o$ the $amine in %hich starving Somalis became
"a%ns in the %arlords battle $or control o$ Mogadishu and the rest o$ the countr!.
(N:o.u- )== The &nited Nations %as $aced %ith an unacce"table situation %hich the!
could not control. # cease$ire %as ultimatel! signed b! the summer o$ )**3. This
allo%ed an o"eration called Provide 5elie$ b! the &nited Nations to "rovide securit!
$or aid shi"ments so that the! could reach the $amine victims. The &nited States
"rovided the aircra$t to bring in the needed $ood $or distribution b! international aid
organi7ations beginning in #ugust )**3.
Des"ite the increase in available $ood- Somalis %ere still d!ing at an alarming
rate. The (ush administration decided that the &nited States could not stand b! and
%atch the starvation and su$$ering. (4lar.e and 0erbst President (ush %as at that "oint a
lame duc. President and 4linton %as %aiting to be inaugurated the ne/t month. The
&nited Nations Securit! 4ouncil authori7ed the &nited States to launch >"eration
5estore 0o"e %hich aimed to "rotect the relie$ e$$ort and ensure that the starvation
ceased. (N:o.u- )=< The o"eration began in December )**3 %hen &S troo"s too.
control over the "ort and air"ort o$ Mogadishu to ensure that coalition troo"s and aid
could arrive in the countr!. The coalition eventuall! consisted o$ over ?;-,,, troo"s
$rom over 3; countries- but the largest contingent %as $rom the &nited States. #ccording
to most sources- the initial "hase o$ the o"eration %as a success and saved u" to 3,,-,,,
Somali lives. (N:o.u- );,
'n Banuar! )**?- 4linton %as inaugurated as the #merican President. Wor.ing
%ith the &nited Nations- 4linton "ushed $or a ne% strateg! in the countr!. Nonetheless-
the mission %as commanded b! the #merican #dmiral Bonathan 0o%e. The ne% strateg!
%ould be to increase the securit! o$ the o"eration b! tr!ing to stabili7e the violent
situation in the countr!. (4lar.e and 0erbst The goals %ere to disarm the militias- secure
all o$ the vital "orts and bring the countr! bac. to the "oint o$ being able to reestablish
the $unctions o$ a democratic government. 't is not sur"rising that the grou"s %hich had
been running Mogadishu did not %ant this to occur. (Stevenson- ?< The! had been able
to ma.e a lot o$ mone! and e/ercise control b! being able to steal the humanitarian aid
and e/tort the organi7ations %hich %ere attem"ting to "rovide it. The securit! $orce
%hich %as brought in to en$orce the ne% mission consisted o$ ?,,, Pa.istani soldiers.
(4lar.e and 0erbst
Battle of Mogadishu
None o$ the com"eting %arlords in Mogadishu trusted the &nited Nations or the
&nited States. Their militias controlled various regions o$ the cit! %ith a variet! o$ arms
that had largel! been given to the countr! b! the Soviet &nion and the &nited States.
Citerall! hundreds o$ thousands o$ %ea"ons %ere in the hands o$ various militias %hen
the &N intervened. The #A8=< ri$le %as %idel! used b! the !oung men %ho en$orced
the rules o$ the %arlords. (Stevenson 'n addition grenade launchers- %hich %ere later to
"la! a vital role in the con$lict- %ere also easil! available to the %arlords.
>ne as"ect o$ Somali culture hel"ed to $uel the violence in Mogadishu.
0istoricall!- man! Somalis che% a "lant .no%n as .hat. Ahat contains a stimulant %hich
is ver! similar to metham"hetamine. The teenage clan members %ho "atrolled the streets
$or %arlords li.e #idad and Mehdi %ere given dail! rations o$ .hat %hich Stevenson
insists added to their alread! violent tendencies. (Stevenson- )3 The addiction to .hat
made the behavior o$ the militias less "redictable and more violent. The culture o$ .hat
and violence made the cit! o$ Mogadishu the most dangerous "lace on the "lanet during
the &nited Nations mission.
Toda!- Mogadishu brings u" images o$ %ar and violence- but it %as once a
beauti$ul "ort cit!. Mogadishu had been a tourist destination- but one o$ the $irst tourists
%ho came to the cit! a$ter the civil %ar %as arrested b! sur"rised authorities on sus"icion
o$ s"!ing. 'ts beaut! earned it the nic.name o$ the "earl o$ the 'ndian >cean- but b!
earl! )**? it %as and loo.ed li.e a %ar 7one. The second &N mission to secure this cit!
began on Ma! =- )**? %hen main the &nited States $orces %ithdre% and %ere re"laced
b! =,,, Pa.istani troo"s. (N:o.u- );3 These soldiers %ere less e/"erienced and "oorl!
eDui""ed to $ace the situation in Mogadishu. #idad too. the %ithdra%al o$ the &S troo"s
as a sign o$ %ea.ness and acted Duic.l! to bloc. an! e$$orts to disarm his militia. #ttac.s
on &N troo"s and aid %or.ers began to increase. >n Bune =
- )**? the situation
intensi$ied %hen the Pa.istanis ins"ected a %ea"ons de"ot near a Mogadishu radio station
that #idad used to s"read his "ro"aganda. #idads militia attac.ed the troo"s and .illed
3= o$ them and %ounded ;= more o$ them. (0irsch- ))2
From that "oint $or%ard- the mission %as changed. #idad and his militia %hich
%ere called the &nited Somali 4ongress or &S48SN# %ere branded as outla%s. #dmiral
0o%e targeted the organi7ation and its leaders $or ca"ture or assassination. (4lar.e and
0erbst 5adio Mogadishu %as destro!ed in a raid aimed at ca"turing #idad- but he %as
able to esca"e. &sing &S helico"ters the mission targeted %ea"ons de"ots and destro!ed
them. The! later %ere able to attac. a meeting o$ the &S48SN# leadershi" and .illed or
in:ured man!. 0o%ever- this violent attac. %hich .illed <, Somalis as "art o$ a
humanitarian mission onl! served to ma.e #idad more "o"ular. (N:o.u- );= #idads
militia ste""ed u" its attac.s on &N $orces a$ter%ards and .illed or in:ured )) &S soldiers
in the ne/t 3 months. 'n res"onse- President 4linton authori7ed a unit o$ )3,, 5angers to
:oin the &N $orces in Somalia %ith a mission to ca"ture or .ill #idad. (4lar.e and
(eginning in #ugust )**?- the 5angers began a series o$ helico"ter raids to
snatch and grab members o$ #idads organi7ation. The "ressure on #idad intensi$ied
as the 5angers success$ull! carried out + o$ these raids. 0o%ever- the $uture o$ the &N
mission %as altered $orever on >ctober ?
- )**? %hen intelligence %as received that t%o
to" #idad o$$icials had been s"otted in Mogadishu. The 5angers assembled an attac.
$orce %hich included )* helico"ters and a do7en armed vehicles and ca"tured their
targets. (N:o.u- );+ 0o%ever- a cro%d gathered bloc.ing the route and #idads
su""orters %ere able to bring do%n a (lac. 0a%. helico"ter and .illing )2 #mericans in
the "rocess. The battle that $ollo%ed raged until the ne/t da! and resulted in hundreds o$
Somali deaths and as man! as a thousand %ounded. 4ameras ca"tured Somalis dragging
dead #merican 5angers through the streets o$ Mogadishu. (Fergusson- 3+ The loss o$
the soldiers and the images o$ the dead being mutilated had a strong e$$ect on #merican
"ublic o"inion about the "eace.ee"ing mission. (Melanson- 3+, 't %as soon a$ter%ards
that the &nited States %ithdre% its $orces $rom Somalia.
United States Foreign olic! after Mogadishu
4oming ten !ears a$ter the disastrous intervention in Cebanon in )*2?- this
e"isode changed &nited States and %orld $oreign "olic! in the !ears that $ollo%ed on the
sub:ect o$ humanitarian intervention in $ara%a! %ar 7ones. 'n )**= 5%anda %as $illed
%ith ethnic violence and hundreds o$ thousands o$ Tutsi "eo"le %ere slaughtered b! their
government. The &nited States did not intervene in 5%anda "robabl! because o$ the
e/"erience in Somalia. (4lar.e and 0erbst The #merican vie% o$ "eace .ee"ing in
dangerous "laces in the %orld has been altered b! the e/"erience in Somalia. The movie
(lac. 0a%. Do%n %as made about the >ctober ?
raid on Mogadishu and has
in$luenced our $eelings about Somalia and its "eo"le. (Fergusson- 3+ Des"ite this- the
&nited States did intervene in 0aiti in )**;- "robabl! because o$ its nearb! location.
(N:o.u- );)
The lac. o$ a strong central government made the countr! a dangerous "lace $or
the entire region. #s a result o$ the civil %ar it became "ossible $or a grou" o$ Somalis
to start a cam"aign o$ "irac!. #$ter the last o$ the &nited Nations $orces le$t the countr!
in )**;- Somalia %as doomed to be bro.en u" b! clan $actions. 'n )**2 the $irst ste"
to%ards large scale "irac! %as ta.en %hen an inde"endent state called Puntland %as
$ormed in the North. (N:o.u- )+; This region is the $irst "lace %here the revolt against
President (arre had begun bac. in the late )*2,s. Des"ite the declaration that it %as an
inde"endent state- there %as still a battle $or leadershi" going on in the Puntland. (N:o.u-
)+; The chaos in the region continued to .ee" the econom! in terrible condition.
With the large volume o$ shi""ing o$$ the Somali coast %hich numbers in the
hundreds o$ thousands o$ shi"s "er !ear- armed "irates began ca"turing shi"s $or ransom.
((ahadur- 3? 'nterestingl!- the roots o$ the "irac! in the )**,s began %ith ca"turing o$
$oreign $ishing vessels %hich %ere according to the Puntland "oint o$ vie%- illegaling
$ishing in their %aters. ((ahadur- ?) The! then held the boats $or ransom. #ccording to
(ahadur- the Puntland %arlords thought o$ themselves as a .ind o$ 4oast 6uard. (!
3,,3- there %as enough stabilit! in the Puntland that an o$$icial coast guard called
Som4an %hich %as o%ned b! Somalian immigrants $rom 4anada began o"erating in the
region. ((ahadur- 3+2 0o%ever- this com"an! %as later $ired $or engaging in "irac!
Carge scale "irac! began in earnest in 3,,; a$ter the area %as devastated b! the
'ndian >cean tsunami in December- 3,,=. ((ahadur- =, The $ishing industr! in the
Puntland %as largel! destro!ed b! the %aves %hich originated thousands o$ miles a%a!
in 'ndonesia. The terrible economic conditions made it eas! $or "irates to recruit
individuals to "artici"ate in their o"erations. ((ahadur- =) 9arl! victims o$ the "irac!
%ere $ood trans"orts- but as time %ent on all .inds o$ shi"s %ere targeted. The
government o$ 6eneral Mohamud 0ersi %as able to su""ress the "irac!- but never
com"letel! control it.
'n 3,,2 the 0ersi government runs out o$ mone! to "a! securit! $orces and "irac!
o$$ the Puntland coast s"iraled out o$ control. Pirates %ere able to ransom a ca"tured
&.ranian vessel $or E?.3 million. ((ahadur- ?< The &nited States and N#T> too.
notice o$ the rising "roblem and sent %arshi"s to the region. Des"ite this the "irac!
continued and a Saudi tan.er is ca"tured ;,, miles $rom the Somali coast b! a grou" o$
The &nited States became directl! involved in the "irac! crisis %hen a grou" o$
"irates sei7e the Maers. #labama %hich %as the $irst #merican shi" to be sei7ed b!
"irates in over 3,, !ears. ((ahadur- ?< &nited States Nav! S9#CS %ere able to $ree the
cre% and .ill or ca"ture the "irates. The incident %as recentl! made into the movie
4a"tain Philli"s. Des"ite all o$ the attention that %as $ocused on the region- the "irates
continued to o"erate in the region and %ere able to $orce a E*.; million "a!o$$ $rom
hi:ac.ing the South Aorean tan.er Samho Dream. ((ahadur- ?+
This environment %hich allo%ed "irac! to thrive also created danger $or all
$oreigners in the countr!. The aid %or.ers in the countr! %ho %ere there to hel" the
Somali "eo"le became targets as %ell. 'n >ctober 3,))- t%o aid %or.ers %ere .idna""ed
in central Somalia. The .idna""ers %ere as.ing $or E* million in ransom %hich rivaled
the biggest o$ the shi" hi:ac.ings. 'n Banuar! 3,)3 a &nited States Nav! S9#C team %as
able to release the #merican as %ell as a Danish hostage $rom Somali "irates. ((uchanan
The $irst o$$icial militar! o"eration %ithin Somalia since the %ithdra%al in )**= %as a
com"lete success. This "roved that the &nited States had the ca"abilit! and %ill"o%er to
deal %ith Somali "irates on land or sea.
Des"ite the e$$orts o$ $oreign navies in the region- the si7e o$ the area to be
"rotected is too great $or com"lete success to be achieved. The root o$ the "roblem is in
the economic "roblems that "lague the region. 'n im"overished Somalia- the "irates %ere
able to achieve the status o$ local 5obin 0oods. 'n the middle o$ all o$ the "overt!- the
"irates became $amous in the Puntland. Stam"ing out "irac! reDuires a strong national
government and im"roved economic situation in the countr!.
"errorism#$l Sha%aa%
#nother conseDuence o$ the lac. o$ strong governmental control in the countr! is
the rise o$ a signi$icant terrorist organi7ation. 9s"eciall!- in the southern hal$ o$ the
countr!- 'slamic insurgenc! has become a "roblem %ithin the countr! as %ell as outside
its borders. #s a countr! %hich has been "lagued b! violence $or the "ast 3 decades-
Somalia has become both a haven and breeding ground $or terrorists.
'n 3,,= an 'slamist organi7ation %as able to ta.e control o$ the Southern "art o$
the countr!. The 'slamic 4ourts &nion ('4& held the ca"ital o$ Mogadishu and other
strategic locations. The '4& can be com"ared to the Taliban in #$ghanistan. (Fergusson-
+? The! brought "eace and securit! to the region- but also en$orced a strict 'slamic la%
in their territories. 'n the "ost *8)) %orld and %ith the read! com"arison o$ the '4& to the
Taliban- the &nited States certainl! %as not in $avor o$ an 'slamic theocrac! ta.ing over
Somalia. With #mericas bac.ing- the 9thio"ians invaded the countr! in 3,,+ and
occu"ied much o$ it. The result %as a guerilla %ar %ith the most militant insurgents $rom
the '4& attac.ing the occu"iers.
The insurgenc! eventuall! led to the $ormation o$ a ne% grou" %hich %as called
al Shabaab. (Fergusson- ),) #s the! $ought against the 9thio"ian invaders- the grou"
began to gather su""ort $rom 'slamic terrorist grou"s in other countries. #l Fueda "raised
the grou"s e$$orts and $oreign born terrorists came to the countr! to su""ort them.
(Fergusson- 32< Starting in 3,,< %ith the $inancial and militar! bac.ing o$ the &nited
States and &nited Nations- #$rican &nion countries led b! &ganda created a
"eace.ee"ing $orce called #M'S>M. (Fergusson- ? The grou" %as continuall! targeted
b! the al Shabaab grou" %ith bombings and other acts o$ terror. 'n 3,)) in e$$ort to
eradicate the grou"- an o$$ensive %as launched b! #M'S>M $rom Somalia and troo"s
$rom Aen!a along %ith 9thio"ia %hich bordered the al Shabaab territor! $rom the south
and %est. (Fergusson- ? The o$$ensive largel! curtailed al Shabaabs in$luence and %as
hailed as a victor! b! the &nited States- but %hich cost the &nited States at least E;,,
million in #M'S>M $unding. (Traub The relative calm allo%ed a ne% government to
ta.e hold %hich the &nited States recogni7ed in earl! 3,)?. (Fergusson- ?
'n the "ost *8)) %orld- the &nited States has been targeting terrorism in Somalia
b! use o$ missiles attac.s $rom drones on sus"ected terrorists. #l Shabaab emerged $rom
being largel! .ic.ed out o$ the cities and returned %ith a vengeance in 3,)? %ith man!
attac.s in Somalia as %ell as the in$amous attac. at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. (5osen
't has been alleged that the &nited Nations com"lained to the &nited States that the large
number o$ drone $lights over Somali territor! "osed a threat to air sa$et! in the countr!.
(C!nch #s recentl! as >ctober 3,)?- &S Nav! S9#CS %ere involved in an
unsuccess$ul land o"eration targeting leaders o$ al Shabaab. &ntil the Somali
government (once #M'S>M eventuall! leaves is able to control the activities o$ terrorist
grou"s in its countr!- the &nited States $oreign "olic! to%ards Somalia %ill continue to
include overt and covert attac.s on Somali soil.
#nother $oreign "olic! "roblem %hich emerged since the civil %ar is the re$ugee
"roblem. # large number o$ Somali citi7ens- estimated at u" to 3 million- le$t the countr!
$or the &nited States and other develo"ed countries. (Fergusson- 2 't has been estimated
that u" to );,-,,, live in #merica toda!. This "o"ulation has become a source o$ home8
gro%n terrorism as Somali !oung men %ho are &S citi7ens have :oined in #l8Fueda- al
Shabaab and other terrorist organi7ations. (Fergusson- 2 The recent mall attac. in Aen!a
%as launched $rom Somalia b! the al Shabaab 'slamist grou". (5osen #t least one o$ the
attac.ers %as a Somali %ho returned to the countr! a$ter living in 9uro"e. T%o o$ the
Condon Train bombers in 3,,; %ere Somali8born. (Fergusson- * Preventing the
e/"ortation o$ terror to the &S and its allies is something %hich has received s"ecial
em"hasis in &nited States $oreign "olic! since the *8)) attac.s and brings more scrutin!
to Somalia.
Current olitical Situation:
Since the 3,)) o$$ensive against al Shabaab- a ne% government %as elected in the
countr! in late 3,)3. This is the $irst democraticall! elected government in man! !ears.
(Fergusson- = 0o%ever- the Condon 4on$erence on Somalia o$ 3,)3 %as the 3,
one in
as man! !ears. (Fergusson- 3); The &nited States recogni7ed the ne% government
di"lomaticall! in 3,)?. The $ormer countr! o$ Somalia no% consists o$ t%o territories in
the North o$ the countr! %hich are se"arate. Puntland is considered an autonomous state
%ithin the countr!- but Somaliland in the $ar north considers itsel$ a sovereign countr!.
(Fergusson- );< The &nited States does not recogni7e either as a sovereign state- but
Somaliland is recogni7ed b! some o$ &S allies such as the &nited Aingdom. (State.gov
Nonetheless- the &nited States a""ears to be su""orting Somaliland in case the TF6
government $ails %ith a t%in8trac. a""roach. (Fergusson- 333 Des"ite the elected
government- #M'S>M "eace.ee"ers are still in Somalia a$ter over < !ears. (Fergusson-
)= The &nited States has not had an o$$icial embass! in the countr! since )**) %hen it
%as abandoned and ransac.ed during the civil %ar. (Stevenson- ?= The o$$icial &nited
States di"lomatic "osition to%ards Somalia is to "romote "olitical and economic
stabilit!- "revent the use o$ Somalia as a haven $or international terrorism- and alleviate
the humanitarian crisis caused b! !ears o$ con$lict- drought- $looding- and "oor
governance. (State.gov
Somalia has "resented a serious $oreign "olic! "roblem $or our countr!. During
the 4old War the Somalis %ere allies o$ the Soviet &nion %hich made them enemies o$
#merica. #$ter a %ar %ith neighboring 9thio"ia- the &nited States began su""orting the
Somalian government. 0o%ever- a decade later Somalia descended into a civil %ar
%hich dre% in the &nited Nations as %ell as the &nited States. (ecause there %as no real
central government le$t behind- la%lessness %as not brought under control. Somali
"irac! on shi"s "assing its shores also caused a disru"tion to trade and large militar!
e/"enditures $or our government. Des"ite- several interventions b! the &nited Nations
and its neighbors over the "ast 3, !ears- Somalia can still be considered a $ailed state.
More recentl! the terrorism %hich is being launched $rom the countr! is something the
&nited States has had to res"ond to. Several drone and land based attac.s have occurred
targeting 'slamic militants %ho are no% based in Somalia. Toda! %hile the government
o$ the &nited States has di"lomaticall! recogni7ed the Somali government- it is still
$ighting the terrorist threat o$ al Shabaab %ith both covert and overt means. The &nited
States %ill continue to use all means "ossible to $ight the al Shabaab and al Fueda
militants %ho are based in the countr!. The histor! o$ #merican $oreign "olic! in
Somalia is a com"licated stor! %hich has ebbed and $lo%ed- but has resulted in su$$ering
on both sides. 4urrentl!- there is ho"e that the democraticall! elected government %ill be
able to e$$ectivel! govern the countr!- but ho"e has been high be$ore. What %ill ha""en
%hen the &N'S>M "eace.ee"ers $inall! leave is an o"en Duestion.
(ahadur- Ba!. The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World. Ne% Gor.1 Pantheon-
3,)). Print.
(uchanan- Bessica- 9ri. Candemalm- and #nthon! Flacco. Impossible Odds: The
Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic escue b! S"#$ Team Si%. Ne%
Gor.1 #tria- 3,)?. Print.
4lar.e- Walter- and Be$$re! 0erbst. HSomalia and the Future o$ 0umanitarian
'ntervention.H &oreign #ffairs. 4ouncil o$ Foreign 5elations- Mar. )**+. Web. ), Nov.
Fergusson- Bames. The World's (ost Dangerous Place. (oston1 Da 4a"o- 3,)?. Print.
0irsch- Bohn C.- and 5obert (. >a.le!. Somalia and Operation estore Hope:
eflections on Peacema)ing and Peace)eeping. Washington- D.4.1 &nited States 'nstitute
o$ Peace- )**;. Print.
C!nch- 4olum. H's the &.S. 5am"ing &" a Secret War in SomaliaIH &oreign Polic!.
Foreign Polic! Maga7ine- 33 Bul! 3,)?. Web. ?, Nov. 3,)?.
Melanson- 5ichard #.- and 5ichard #. Melanson. #merican &oreign Polic! since the
*ietnam War: The Search for +onsensus from ,i%on to +linton. #rmon.- NG1 M.9.
Shar"e- )**+. Print.
Miller- Debra #. (odern-da! Pirac!. Farmington 0ills- M'1 6reenhaven Press- 3,)3.
N:o.u- 5a"hael 4hi:io.e. The Histor! of Somalia. Santa (arbara- 4#1 6reen%ood- 3,)?.
5osen- #rmin. H#$ricaJs Phoeni/.H &oreign Polic!. Foreign Polic! Maga7ine- 3< Se"t.
3,)?. Web. ?, Nov. 3,)?.
Stevenson- Bonathan. $osing (ogadishu: Testing ./S/ Polic! in Somalia. #nna"olis- MD1
Naval 'nstitute- )**;. Print.
Traub- Bames. HFrom (lac. 0a%. Do%n to Standing &".H &oreign Polic!. Foreign Polic!
Maga7ine- ?) Ma! 3,)?. Web. ?, Nov. 3,)?.
H&.S. 5elations With Somalia.H ./S/ Department of State. &.S. De"artment o$ State- )+
#ug. 3,)?. Web. 3* Nov. 3,)?.
P(S intervie%s
Walter 4lar.e
Bonathan 0o%e
5ichard >a.le!