MILITARY INTELLIGENCE

Military Operations

1990s

Somalia

Operations Restore Hope and Continue Hope

Allard, Kenneth. Somalia Operations: Lessons Learned. Washington, DC: National Defense University, 1995.

Cohen, FA 75.4 (Jul.-Aug. 1995), says that this work "is a distillation of the military's official lessons and hence falls back on true but trite observations: an effective public information program is critical to the success of any operation, mission execution is more difficult without trained and well-organized staffs, and the like."

Barth, Fritz J. "A System of Contradictions." Marine Corps Gazette, Apr. 1998, 26-29.

The author surveys the U.S. intelligence effort in Somalia, and concludes that, despite the after-the-fact perceptions, "intelligence in Somalia performed effectively."

Borchini, Charles P., and Mari Borstelmann. "PSYOP in Somalia: The Voice of Hope." Special Warfare 7, no. 4 (Oct. 1994): 2-9. [Gibish]

Bowden, Mark. Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern Warfare. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1999.

The author does not focus on the intelligence aspects in this story of the diasterous event in Mogadishu in October 1993. A Publisher Weekly (via Amazon.com) reviewer notes, however, that Bowden does ask: "Did the U.S. err by creating elite forces that are too small to sustain the attrition of modern combat?"

Donnelly, Tom, and Katherine McIntire. "Rangers in Somalia: Anatomy of a Firefight." Army Times, 15 Nov. 1993, 14-18. [Gibish]

Hirsch, John L., and Robert B. Oakley. Somalia and Operation Restore Hope: Reflections on Peacemaking and Peacekeeping. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, 1995.

According to Cohen, FA 74.4 (Jul.-Aug. 1995), the authors "served with distinction during America's curious and bloody 1992-94 Somalia involvement." Their work is "a mixture of memoir and postmortem." Although they "are cognizant of the failures of American policy, they lay considerable stress on the success of its humanitarian phases."

Loeb, Vernon. "After-Action Report." Washington Post, 27 Feb. 2000, W6. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

This is the Somali debacle from the standpoint of Garrett Jones, the CIA chief of station in Mogadishu, and John Spinelli, the deputy COS who was seriously wounded and evacuated in September 1993. Jones left Somalia after the disaster of 3 October 1993.

"In response [to criticism of battlefield analysis in the Gulf War], senior CIA officials decided that supporting military missions would become a priority. In the summer of 1993, Somalia became a painful test case." The information provided by Jones and Spinelli, who arrived in Somalia in August 1993, "illuminates the hazards of 'mission creep,' when peacekeeping operations become heavily armed exercises in 'nation building,' and the limitations of on-the-fly intelligence in a spy paradigm that mixes special operations and law enforcement."

Loeb makes clear that Jones and Spinelli have been left deeply scarred by their experience in Somalia. Jones retired from the CIA in June 1997. Spinelli "retired in March 1998, after trying, without success, to persuade the CIA to restructure its disability program so that officers wounded in action and disabled would receive the same benefits as FBI agents or military officers. He has filed an administrative claim against the agency, the first step toward suing his former employer, contending that it refused to provide adequate medical care."

Vernon Loeb, "Ex-Agent Sues CIA Over Diagnosis," Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2000, A27, reports that Spinelli has "filed suit..., alleging that CIA officials denied him access to adequate medical care for post-traumatic stress once he physically recovered from gunshot wounds to the neck and shoulder."

Murphy, John R. "Memories of Somalia." Marine Corps Gazette, Apr. 1998, 20-25.

The author, a Marine Corps intelligence analyst, shares some thoughts about serving with UNOSOM in Somalia.

Potkovic, Troy M. "Operation CONTINUE HOPE: Maintaining Intelligence Credibility." Military Intelligence 21, no. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1995): 18-20.

Stevenson, Johnathan. Losing Mogadishu: Testing U.S. Policy in Somalia. Annapolis, MD: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1995.

Rich, WIR 14.6, says that this "short but sensible analysis of U.S. involvement in Somalia is well worth reading." The author believes that President Bush and JCS Chairman Powell failed to understand the political situation on the ground in Somalia. And "American military planners for Restore Hope lacked intelligence about the Somali people. They did not know their enemy."

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