The Somali Model?

Somalia represents interventionst's perfect storm, but our difficulties there demonstrate the military's limits in the War on Terror.

Issue: July-Aug 2007

IN EARLY 2002, once primarily American forces had overrun and ejected Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters from Afghanistan, the Pentagon began to extol "the Afghan model"; following the precedent of Operation Enduring Freedom, the idea was that small special operations units would combine with allied indigenous forces (in this case, the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance) to acquire local intelligence and a sound operational orientation, guiding U.S. air strikes to maximum effect and setting the table for a relatively easy occupation. The Afghan model thus appeared effective enough in producing a thoroughgoing takedown with minimal casualties and political fallout to warrant institutionalization.

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