In these days of world turmoil, many people are keeping their eyes and ears on North Korea, conflict in Syria, more bombings in Afghanistan and various terrorist activities in Europe. But few are aware that United States troops were deployed back to Somalia.
Yes, Somalia… The scene which inspired the movie Black Hawk Down based on the true story that happened in 1993.
The History Of Tensions In Somalia
This country on the Eastern side of Africa, East of Ethiopia and Northeast of Kenya, has been
embroiled in civil war since the 1980’s. Back in those days the leadership
of Somalia was under the Supreme Revolutionary Council whose Chairman was Major General Mohamed Siad Barre.
There were many small factions that opposed this leadership, but they were controlled until Barre was seriously injured in a car accident.
At that point, many small factions started trying to overthrow the regime. The strongest was the United Somali Congress. They captured many of the towns that surrounded Mogadishu and then started attacking the city.
Other rebel groups also came to the city and there was war between all.
Everyone wanted the power.
United Nations Entrance
In 1992, the United Nations entered Somalia with the intent of providing humanitarian aid. A peacekeeping operation ensued with the creation of the Unified Task Force. Several Pakistani UN soldiers were killed and the United States agreed to enter under Operation Restore Hope.
But the United States mandated they would only send a strong group of forces if they were in charge. The UN agreed.
Before the U.S. force arrival, they had sent CIA Paramilitary Officer Larry Freedman and others on reconnaissance. Larry was the first casualty when his vehicle struck a mine.
Marines landed in Somalia in December of 1992 to a plethora of media.
To be blunt, it was, as many Marines would say, a clusterfuck.
The United States had approximately 25,000 troops in Somalia and the rest were from various countries like:
- The United Kingdom
Throughout operations, the U.S. was supposed to be in control but other nations somewhat did what they wanted.
It WAS a clusterfuck!
Various operations were performed and negotiations were integrated with various factions, but as one negotiation may work another faction would rise up. It was a fight for power and control and none of the Somali people cared if the UN and U.S. forces were there.
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The Battle Of Mogadishu And Black Hawk Down
In August of 1993, Task Force Ranger was created because of the fierce situation in Somalia.
Task Force Ranger consisted of special operations forces from Army, Air Force and Navy special forces.
In October, a mission was made in which Task Force Ranger would capture leaders from a rebel clan led by Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The mission was successful but during the process, 2 Balck Hawk helicopters were shot down.
U.S. forces made a priority of rescuing all aboard those helicopters and the result was 19 killed and over 70 wounded.
If you have not watched the movie Black Hawk Down, I highly recommend it.
The Battle of Mogadishu was fierce and in all actuality, the United States looked like the “bad guys” in this whole situation.
Al Qaeda has strong ties in Somalia and much of the happenings in Somalia have been linked to that group.
In 1995, the UN and the United States backed out of Somalia for the biggest part. And since that time, there has been battles for power over and over.
Somalia For The Last Several Years
As I mentioned at the top of this post, the current administration has sent some troops to Somalia as tensions seem to be rising again.
I find many media outlets are putting “blame” on our current President, Donald Trump. Now while I do not agree with everything he has been doing, I need to confront the media because long before, the U.S. has been secretly sending special forces into Somalia.
The Obama Administration has been performing airstrikes and sending small bands of special forces in to fight against Islamic militants.
The U.S.’ primary target is Shabab. Linked to Al Qaeda, this group has been terrorizing civilians in Somalia as well as forces from neighboring countries. They have been linked to many terrorism events and have attacked Kenyan soldiers.
I happen to be friends with 2 Kenyan soldiers and I am glad that President Trump is eyeing the damages being done in Somalia.
Where will it go from here?
The current leader of Somalia is a dual U.S./Somalia citizen. His name is President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and he has made a goal of driving Shabab from Mogadishu and Somalia.
He has asked for our help and would it be right for us to deny?
We are there to support and train.
Just maybe we can establish some form of stability in Somalia.
You may or may not agree.
I am just giving you the facts as I see them. President Trump is not instigating, because it was much earlier that we were involved.
Do you think we should help Somalia? Why or why not?
Please leave your comments and opinions below.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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