Saturday, August 26, 2006

Somalia Operations: Lessons Learned by Kenneth Allard

Somalia Operations Lessons Learned by Kenneth Allard is a quite short booklet on lessons learned in the Somalia conflict. Allard is interested in analyzing the successes and failures of the American joint staff system which was in place throughout the Somali conflict. There is basically nothing on the "Blackhawk down" incident except a few passing references.

For what it is it does a decent job although there are some criticisms to be made. One is more humorous than anything else. There is constant reiteration about how US forces should never be under the command of other nations officers but there is also repeatedly crying and moaning that the other nations forces would not immediately bowdown to American command authority.

There is also a strange conclusions section which reiterate amongst other things that American forces should not be used in nation building. This is of course ok as far as it goes but this is a political choice not a military choice. Works like this should be interested in creating awareness of what needs to be done not a blanket refusal to even consider the issue. As Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate going on about how they refused to do nation building didn't exactly stop them from attempting it there. Maybe if 10 years ago there had been a willingness to consider the difficulties and not hide their heads in the sand the forces would not be in such a big mess.

Is available through Abebooks.

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