US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations
Prior to the Ogaden War, Somalia had been allied with the Soviet Union, and its American military advisers were permanently stationed there one year later. Somalis yearn for a world where their country is helped to stand on its own feet without interference. U.S.-SOMALIA RELATIONS. The United States established diplomatic relations with Somalia in , following its constituent parts'.
It has been trying to extricate itself from faraway military operations such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Horn of Africa is no different. Washington understands that it does not have the resources or political capital to fight every war in the world. But it still needs to be active in places like Somalia to protect its global interests. It has therefore pursued a strategy that involves a limited use of resources necessary to achieve an acceptable result as opposed to decisive, clear-cut victory.
Such is the case in Somalia. Over the past few years, Washington has selectively developed a military presence throughout the Horn of Africa that features drone technology, special operations forces and cooperation with other regional actors.
Plans are also underway to add new facilities to the U. Central to this strategy, however, is the inclusion of local forces to share security responsibilities. Given their shared border with Somalia, not to mention their comparatively mature militaries, Ethiopia and Kenya appear as the two most natural candidates.
Mogadishu was especially hit by clan warfare, lawlessness and banditry.
The newly constructed U. Embassy was invaded by bandits, with the entire American staff and diplomats from other nations escaping on helicopters sent by the American military operating in the nearby Gulf war.
Thus, in Januaryit looked as if the United States had reached the point of forgetting about Somalia, which in strategic terms had reverted to being just another troubled backwater. But Somalia could not be forgotten. By earlyin the absence of a central government, the country's humanitarian situation was becoming disastrous.
This was especially true in southern Somalia, where marauding clan armies were fighting over the different quarters of Mogadishu, as well as the cities of Baidoa and Kismayu. With the security situation so dangerous, farmers were unable to plant and harvest.
Efforts by the United Nations and private relief organizations to deliver food to the hungry were thwarted by warlords who were using relief goods as bargaining chips for money and power. By mid, the UN was reporting growing starvation in southern Somalia, with infants, nursing mothers and the elderly as the chief victims. Thus, Somalia again became a major policy issue for the United States government.
- Somalia and the United States: A Long and Troubled History
- U.S. Department of State
But the so-called "CNN effect" that showed starving Somali mothers and babies on American television daily had a strong impact.
Congress was inundated with mail calling for Washington to do something to stop the suffering. In Augustas the U.
US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations
The airlift was based in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, and was successful in alleviating food shortages around some of the major Somali airports such as Baidoa. However, in situations of major famine, airlifts are invariably insufficient because of the cargo limitations of aircraft. It was clear that the only solution to the problem of mass starvation Somalis were dying per week as of October was massive delivery by ship and overland truck transport.
This could only take place, however, with military protection of the shipments against the predatory warlords who controlled Mogadishu's seaport and airport. In Novemberafter he had lost the election to Bill Clinton, President Bush asked the State Department for recommendations with respect to the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Somalia.
The Department recommended that the United State propose a UN-led military enforcement operation to open the way for food deliveries, without the use of American troops, but with the logistical support of U.
The Pentagon expressed the view that it would take at least six months for the United Nations to mount such an operation, and only the United States military had the capability of moving quickly. On the basis of these recommendations, President Bush ordered a U. With all of these agreements in place, the first American forces arrived in Somalia in early December A number of other countries also sent troops to Somalia, including Botswana and Nigeria in Africa.
In terms of ending the hunger cycle, the operation was a huge success. Within a matter of weeks, relief supplies were flowing smoothly, and the number of deaths from starvation and malnutrition had declined tremendously. The American-led relief operation was turned over to United Nations control in Mayas originally planned. With relief supplies flowing and agriculture revived, the UN operation became one of working to restore governmental institutions and basic security.
Somalia–United States relations
This prospect became a threat to some of the warlords in the Mogadishu area who feared for their economic interests. One of them, Mohammed Aideed, decided to take action to force the United Nations out. This took the form of guerrilla attacks on UN peacekeepers. In Septemberhis men ambushed and killed 25 Pakistani UN peacekeeping troops.
As a loyal commander, Admiral Howe felt that he had to take action to punish the perpetrators of this atrocity. However, instead of working through UN channels to obtain authorization to use military force, he worked through U.
Somalia and the United States: A Long and Troubled History - btcmu.info
This operation resulted in the disaster of October 3, in which 18 U. As a result of the October 3 disaster, President Bill Clinton decided to pull all forces out of Somalia and to close down the UN operation, thereby fulfilling Mohammed Aideed's objective.
Following war with Ethiopia in the s, Somalia began turning toward the West, including the United States, for international support, military equipment, and economic aid. Civil war in the s led to the collapse of Somalia's central government in Following this, various groupings of Somali factions, sometimes supported by outside forces, sought to control the national territory or portions thereof and fought one another.
Why the US Cares About Somalia - Geopolitical Futures
Although the United States never formally severed diplomatic relations with Somalia, the U. Embassy in Somalia was closed in Fromthe United States took part in operations that aimed to provide assistance to Somalis. Numerous efforts at mediation and reconciliation were attempted over the years, and a transitional government was established in