US Intervention in Somalia Research Paper

Pages: 7 (2117 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Military

U.S. Intervention in Somalia

Introductory Paragraphs

In 1991, Somalia would erupt into civil war after the long serving dictator Siad Barre fled the country. This sparked a conflict between the Somalia National Movement and the various factions that were controlled by different warlords. These are individuals who maintained their own private armies, often holding power over large segments of the country. At this point, the severe fighting halted all economic activity. There was also a major famine that had devastating effects on the local population. As a result, 300 thousand Somalis perished during the first year of the civil war. This would spark the UN to take action, in an effort to address the famine and instability that was affected the country. However, the state of civil war would cause humanitarian efforts to decline. Where, it was common for: many different relief flights to be looted upon landing, there were hijacked UN convoys and many UN staff members were assaulted. Responding to these threats President Bush sent 25,000 combat troops to the region in an effort to protect the UN mission and help provide stability to the country. ("Ambush in Mogadishu," 2010)

Statement of the Problem

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However, the mission slowly began to slowly face various problems, as there were two different objectives that had limited roles and confusing areas of responsibility. This included the UN humanitarian mission that was working in conjunction with the U.S. To deliver various supplies to key areas of the country (UNSOM I) and extensive enforcement powers to uphold order (UNSOM II). The problem statement is how were the events that took place in Somalia shaping future peace keeping mission and the role the military would play in them.


The purpose of this project is to determine if the conflicting roles and limited scope and resources of the UN mission undermined the objectives of humanitarian workers as well as troops on the ground. The problem was that the mission did not allow combat forces to disarm the various groups that they were fighting. This is troubling, because it caused the UN mission to become ineffective.

Research Paper on US Intervention in Somalia Assignment

Significance of the study

This study will help to provide answers about how the UN could effectively conduct humanitarian operations in countries where there is an ongoing civil war and humanitarian crisis. As the events that took place would shape how the UN and U.S. would conduct joint humanitarian / military missions around the world.

Research questions and/or hypotheses

The hypothesis that will be examined is:

US peace keeping efforts in Somalia could be been successful if there had been a clear mandate and support to achieve their objectives. Our role will be to support or refute different theories.

To focus the research, a number of different questions will be asked to include:

Were the tactics of military forces severely limited?

Was the U.S. mandate working in conflict with stability?

Chapter 2: Background

Literature Review

The piece of literature titled Ambush in Mogadishu (2010) provides a timeline surrounding the UN / U.S. involvement in Somalia. It discusses how the conflict began and various events that would lead to the failure of the mission. This is important because it provides a background as to what kinds of challenges and opportunities were being presented. ("Ambush in Mogadishu," 2010)

The piece of literature written by Rutherford (2008) talks about how the UN / U.S. involvement was successful when it was wrapping up in mid-1993. However, the operational role would change with the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 814. This authorized the direct establishment of a functioning government in Somalia called UNSOM II. This is important, because it help address the various questions that were presented earlier. (Rutherford, 2008, pp. 119 -- 130)

The piece of literature written by Patman (2010) discusses how the UN's role in Somalia would continue to change. As the responsibility of disarming the local population was limited, where this kind of action would require a significant amount of combat forces and could involve large numbers of causalities. At the same time, the various warlords and Al Quida were concerned that the large international presence could have an impact upon their span influence. This would lead to increased hostilities that would target UN forces during the UNSOM II. (Patman, 2010, 41 -- 64)

Definition of terms

UNSOM I -- This was the UN mission that began in 1992 to deliver various humanitarian supplies to areas of the country affected by the drought. The role of the mission would continue to evolve as combat troops would be utilized to help protect relief supplies and UN aid workers. ("United Nations Operations in Somalia," 2010)

UNSOM II -- This was the change in focus of the UN mission in 1993. As operations would shifted from providing humanitarian assistance to ensuring that all areas of the nation were stable and secure (nation building). ("United Nations Operation in Somalia," 2003)

Chapter 3: Methodology

Restate purpose and research questions or null hypotheses

The purpose of this study is to determine if the changing roles of providing humanitarian support to nation building activities, led to the failure of the mission. It left the troops without the resources or support they needed to achieve such a broad range of objectives. To help provide insights surrounding several different challenges various research questions will ask:

Were the tactics of military forces severely limited?

Was the UN mandate working in conflict with bringing about stability?

Were there other elements at work that further undermined the success of the mission?

Population and sampling

The population and sampling will occur through conducting an analysis of the various pieces of literature on the subject.


The instrumentation that will be used as a part of the study is desk research. This is when you are looking at various secondary sources to make an accurate determination as to how different events could affect the outcome of a situation. ("Qualitative Research," 2010)

Procedure and time frame

The different procedures and time frames that will be examined include: the period that Somalia was dominated by the European powers and how this would have an influence on the civil war. There will be an emphasis on the UN's involvement in the country from 1991 until 1995, when both UNSOM I and UNSOM II officially ended. ("United Nations Operation in Somalia," 2003)

Analysis plan

To effectively analyze the strategy in Somalia, the alpha level will be carefully examined along with various incidents that are occurring. The alpha level is when researchers are determining the likelihood that various events will take place prior to conducting the study. (Brooks, 2001) Instead of using different statistics, we will examine secondary resources and their impact upon the underlying events that took place in Somalia.

Validity and reliability

The validity and reliability of the study will be based upon the corroboration of the various findings with each other. This will prevent one particular set of views from affecting the study. Where, this will remove the politics and emotions from the research; which will improve the accuracy, by providing an overall big picture assessment of the situation.


Given the fact that the UN mission in Somalia was a disaster means the basic assumption will be that a series of different blunders led to a number of events contributing to its failure. This is important because we are entering the study seeking to understand what went wrong and how the situation could have been handled differently.

Scope and limitations

The scope and limitations of the study will be based on the information that was obtained from secondary sources. This means that many of the comments, interviews and facts may be somewhat distorted based on the opinions of the writer. That said, effectively corroborating the different findings with one another will help to address this limitation. Where, it will prevent researchers from overly relying on one particular source.

Chapter 4: Results

The results of this study will highlight how: the ineffective directives and policy decisions made by both the U.S. As well as UN would contribute to the failure of the mission in Somalia. As there were the no: resources, support or political will to ensure that the long-term objectives were being reached. Instead, the focus would be one of idealism, without any kind of serious commitment to: addressing the underlying challenges that are facing the country or the various resources personnel needs to achieve their objectives. When you put these d elements together, this is showing how the strategy that was used to achieve the mission was unsuccessful because of the factors mentioned earlier.

Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations


The different events that took place in Somalia reflected a combination of incidents of conflict, idealism and a lack of the necessary resources to successfully fulfill the objectives of the mission. These different elements are important because they highlight how Somalia served as a template for how future wars would be fought. Where, various humanitarian issues would intersect with security related challenges. This is… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "US Intervention in Somalia" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

US Intervention in Somalia.  (2010, December 8).  Retrieved December 3, 2020, from

MLA Format

"US Intervention in Somalia."  8 December 2010.  Web.  3 December 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"US Intervention in Somalia."  December 8, 2010.  Accessed December 3, 2020.