Somalia - Battle in Mogadishu

Essay by St3_BP February 2007

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This writing assignment tells the story of the most violent U.S. combat firefight since Vietnam. On October 3rd, 1993 elite units of the U.S. Army's Rangers and Delta Force were ambushed by Somali men, women and children armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades The Rangers were pinned down in the most dangerous part of Mogadishu, Somalia and taking casualties. What had started out as an operation to capture warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid, turned into a tragic firefight that lasted seventeen hours, left eighteen Americans dead, eighty four wounded and continues to haunt the U.S. military until this day.

A revolution which occurred in January of 1991 overthrew Somali leader Mohammed Siad Barre. After this revolution, the country was split into five opposing groups. Civil war broke out for the domination of Somalia. In September, devastating battles in Mogadishu claimed the lives of over 20,000 people. The fighting would lead to the destruction of Somalia's agriculture.

This would cause a domino effect to country-wide starvation. The International Community attempted to send food supplies to help the cause, but an estimated eighty percent of it was hi-jacked for the local clan leaders to trade with other countries for arms. As the starvation increased, over 300,000 Somali people died. In July of 1992, a cease-fire was initiated allowing U.N personnel to come and monitor the distribution of food. This operation proved unsuccessful and the U.N asked for assistance. In his last weeks in power, President George Bush deployed 25,000 troops to secure the trade routes, allowing food to get to the people. When President Bill Clinton was inaugurated, he let the United Nations take over the operation. President Clinton reduced the number of American soldiers to only 1,200. On June 5th of 1993, Pakistani soldiers were inspecting a Somali arms weapons...