The book is based on The Battle of the Black Sea in Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 3-4, 1993. The average American may recall pictures of starving Somalis, a widespread support for assistance, and then images of dead American soldiers being dragged through the streets of Somalia. What is not well known is that when America and the United Nations sent aid, such as food supplies, it was seized by the warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. Because of his crimes against humanity, the killing of 300,000 Somalis using hunger as a weapon, American military was sent to Somalia. The battle was not intended, for the mission was to arrest two lieutenants of warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. But when two MH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters crashed down in the city, a huge rescue was necessary, and eighteen Americans died and 70 were injured.
After the Cold War ended, America and its allies felt that they had the power and obligation to eradicate corrupt dictators and stop malicious tribal hostility.
We also thought that this could be done easily and relatively bloodlessly, such as when Saddam Hussein was driven out of Kuwait. In The Battle of the Black Sea we realized the limits of our power, and the fight in Mogodishu, Somalia has had a profound cautionary influence on U.S. military policy ever since.
In Somalia there was no solution to the problem. The idea used to be that evil, thuggish leaders oppressed good, innocent people, but in this case, there are very few good, moral people. Though the oppressed people do want the evil leader, in this case Aidid, out of power, they do not want to share power with others to make peace. Rival clans just want temporary victory, and then they wish to put themselves into power. Like in Bosnia,