Fallout from Somalia still haunts US policy 20 years later – News – Stripes.
Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Politics, Terrorism
“Mission creep”, UN control, and no U.S. forces available for back-up. Was it a lesson learned? No…wait until we pull out of Afghanistan. A courageous American Army lieutenant colonel screwed his career and saved most of the Ranger force in Mogidishu. The supposed contingency “reaction force” standing by to go to the aid of the U.S. forces sent into the city to snatch Adeed were a battalion of Pakistani mech infantry. Their commander refused UN orders to take his unit into Mogidishu and break through to the surrounded Rangers: “Too dangerous”. Finally, the morning of the second day, the colonel walked up to the Paki C.O., unholstered his 9mm Beretta, screwed it into the Pakistani lieutenant colonel’s ear, and told him succinctly, “Move now or die.” The Pakis moved, the Skinnies got out of the way, the encirclement was broken, the Rangers extracted, and the UN declared the Amerrican Army lieutenant colonel “Persona Non Grata” and gave him 24 hours to leave Somalia. The guy got “Pinged”, his career was over, but I like to think that any good U.S. officer would have done the same and called it a nice finish to his career.
Kinnison, you know what was even more disgusting was months later when Clinton’s foreign policy made another 180 degree turn, he used US troops to escort that warlord Aidid, like some VIP leader, to some UN sponsored peace conference, http://articles.latimes.com/1993-12-03/news/mn-63518_1_somali-clan.
Doubt very many lessons are learned by US politicians or within the bowels of the Pentagon. Been reading Pershing’s Pulitzer Prize winning memoirs of WWI – fascinating readiness, political and foreign policy issues he faced and you’d think after being totally unprepared for war a century ago, we would have learned some lessons there, but here we go dismantling the military again.
Everybody forgets LB, which I suppose is “natural” but back when GHW originally initiated and implemented our stuff in Somalia – under US control – UNITAF (Restore Hope) 24 APR 92 was quite successful.
It was only after the handoff of US CENTCOM command and control to the “experts of the UN” (UNISOM II) 26 MAR 93 – broadening the mission to include disarmament and cough .. cough cough. Hoo boy after “Clinton’s [first] Imbroglio” did we ever learn some lessons nation-building that things went all screwy.
Part One ‘After Action’ by Ambassador Oakley:
As your post’s concerned with “Twenty Years After” LB, but in I suppose the wider context of Learning Lessons this from “Ten Years After”:
“The deeper problem of unscrupulous warlords grappling for power could not be addressed by air power, “satisfying though the thought of antiseptic aid from the air may be to some.”
Thanks JK, that’s a very interesting read.
Brings up, don’t you think, one of the more interesting “What If’s” in our Nation’s History, GHW had been re-elected?
Somehow I think re-electing the WWII vet, former Congressman, Ambassador to the UN, envoy to China, CIA Director as well as Vice President of the US … well … suffice to say I think, we’d all be in a better spot today (far as our International Situation goes at any rate).
“If only” The Dope from Hope had waited a mere four years …
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