Bush Orders U.S. Troops to Somalia

Bush Orders U.S. Troops to Somalia

U.S. President George Bush orders 25,000 U.S. troops into Somalia. In late 1992, civil war, drought, and clan-based fighting created famine conditions that threatened one-fourth of Somalia’s population with starvation. The United Nations began a humanitarian mission but found it difficult to distribute food in the war-ravaged nation, so the U.S. agreed to help support the mission with military aid. On June 5, 1993, soldiers under Somali warlord General Mohammed Aidid massacred 24 Pakistani U.N. peacekeepers. U.S. and U.N. forces searched for the elusive strongman, and in August, 400 elite U.S. troops arrived to capture Aidid. Two months later, 18 of these soldiers were killed and 84 wounded during a disastrous assault on Mogadishu’s Olympia Hotel. As many as 1,000 Somalis were killed in the violent 17-hour firefight. Three days later, with Aidid still at large, recently inaugurated President Bill Clinton cut his losses and ordered a U.S. withdrawal. Devastating clan fighting continued in Somalia into the next century.