Case 211 - Key Decisions in the Somalia Intervention
Menkhaus, Ken with Louis L. Ortmayer
Operation Restore Hope, which began in late 1992 as a well-intentioned humanitarian intervention in troubled Somalia, turned into a nightmare as the multinational peacekeeping force in that country began taking casualties and U.S. public support evaporated after the costly failure of an operation to capture a fugitive Somali warlord. What went wrong? This case study recounts the drama of the Somali intervention, following the thread of decision and response that shaped U.S. policy and perceptions through the transition from George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton’s administrations--both of which would grapple with the challenges of humanitarian intervention in the post-Cold War world. It could be usefully paired with “Operation Restore Hope: The Bush Administration's Decision to Intervene in Somalia” (Case Study 210).