The Battle of Mogadishu 25 years later: How the fateful fight changed combat operations
US involvement in Somalia in 1993 was a part of its optimistic role for a post-Cold War world in which it could ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid, combat dictators, build democracies, and watch the world flourish. After a two day battle whose aftermath saw images of dead American soldiers dragged through the streets, however, much of of this optimism faded, followed as it was by the horrific genocide in Rwanda. While the operation was a tactical success in which a small U.S. force held off an ambush from forces around ten times more numerous than their own, the broader Operation Restore Hope in Somalia was a strategic failure. The U.S. experience there, however, was influential in future operations, including those post-9/11. Training plans for rangers and other special forces were changed, and deployment schedules altered. More broadly, enemy awareness of US calculations and their ultimate withdrawal from the country led to the development of a leading terrorist objective: cause enough US casualties to make the American public force a military withdrawal. This Army Times piece takes a look at the some of the military-level tactical changes that followed the Battle of Mogadishu.