On October 4th, 1993, Task Force Ranger, the operational name for a joint Army force of rangers, Delta Force Commandos, and supporting helicopter crews faced the Somalian militias on what was later described as one of the bloodiest American fights in recent history. The conflict started on December 1992, after the United Nations asked the outgoing Bush administration to deliver food to thousands of people starving to death in Somalia, Africa, specifically the city of Mogadishu. The city of Mogadishu is located in the middle of the Southern half of the Somalian coastline, and serves as the nation’s capital. The shipments intended for the starving Somalis were ending in the hands of warlords throughout the “Horn of Africa,” which used the much needed aid as a source of power. The American response to this atrocity was to send 28,900 US troops who landed on the beaches of Somalia to start Operation Restore Hope and ensure the distribution of food to the needy.
To understand events leading up to the battle of Mogadishu, you must first understand what sparked Somalia into clan rebellion, fighting, famine, and utter chaos.1 In 1919, a man by the name of Mohamed Said Barre was born into an Italian Somaliland clan known as Daarood. By 1941, at the age of twenty-two Barre had joined the Somali police force and rose to the position of Chief inspector. In 1950 Barre left to the military academy in Italy, and later returned in 1960 only to transfer into the Somali national Army. In 1966, Barre held the rank of Major General in the Somalian national army. In 1969 Barre would stage a military coup and seize control of the Somalian government. He then imposed a dictatorship which would outlaw clan loyalties.2 He did this in an effort to try and unite Somalia under one central area of power. Barre also increased ties with the Soviet Union to flood the country with an assortment of weapons. The Soviet Union in return gained access to an African foothold with a port on the Indian Ocean.3
A Somalian’s allegiance was first to their family, next to their clan, then finally to their nation. The subversion of this way of thinking along with the suppression of the people by Barre led to clan uprisings. Clan uprisings led to a collapsed economy, arms smuggling, and heavy drug trafficking. These toxic situations eventually led to a civil war for Somalia.4
At what seemed like the peak of political controversy, the Hawiye clan, led by a man named Mohamed Farrah Aideed formed a political assembly called the United Somali Congress. The intent of the united Somali Congress was to overthrow Mohammed Siad Barre. Aideed gained political backing by accusing the United Nations and the United States that they were trying to turn them from their religion of Islam.5 Aideed was based out of Mogadishu where he became a warlord with much control over the capitol. Barres attempts to stop the overthrow became violent and eventually turned into massacres. These...