“The Battle of Mogadishu, the American operation in Somalia later immortalized by Mark Bowden’s seminal non-fiction book “Black Hawk Down” and dramatized in Ridley Scott’s exhilarating but slightly less non-fictional movie of the same name. On October 3, 1993, 160 U.S. Army Rangers and other special operations forces launched what was supposed to be a routine raid to capture two lieutenants of Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aideed. But when two MH-60L helicopters providing fire support were shot down, the operation became a desperate search and rescue mission in which U.S. forces were besieged overnight by thousands of heavily armed Somali militiamen. Fourteen hours after the operation’s start, eighteen Americans were dead, 84 were wounded, and one pilot was missing.
As debates rage about intervention in Syria and the renewed threat posed by Somali-based al-Shabaab, the most dramatic U.S. military operation between Vietnam and Afghanistan offers an important opportunity to revisit those lessons, which remain relevant two decades later.”
Read more by Benjamin Runkle: https://warontherocks.com/2013/10/the-lost-lessons-of-black-hawk-down/