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Somalia, A Timeline

August 1992, President George H.W. Bush orders emergency airlifts to President Bush.

November 1992, William Jefferson Clinton elected President of the United States.

October 1993, Eighteen US Rangers and Delta Force specialists died in a raid in Somalia and over 70 were wounded.

October 1993. “A few days after the Rangers’ deaths and the humiliating CNN coverage, Clinton did completely reverse course. He announced it had been a mistake to “personalize the conflict.”

November 1996, the American People re-elect President Clinton to a second term.


Al-Qaida militants are operating with “great comfort” in Somalia, providing training and assistance to a radical military element loyal to the Islamic group that controls most of southern Somalia, a senior State Department official said Wednesday.

Do I “fault” President Clinton for his decision? Good or bad, he was simply following the “will” of the electorate and I am sure he had the internal polling to make “his decision.”

Will America ever learn? All I can do, along with many others, is make sure that the institutional military is as ready as possible to fight another day in another place.

-- Oak Leaf