The Los Angeles Times describes this volume as one of the two most important postmortems written since the United Nations dismantled its troubled and lamented mission to Somalia.

“Somalia” has become a symbol for the unacceptable costs of humanitarian intervention, for the type of foreign involvement that should be avoided. But the authors of this timely book, themselves key participants in the U.S.-led operation there, argue that substantial good was done—the tide of famine was stayed, hundreds of thousands of lives saved, and steps toward political reconciliation begun. Despite the recent renewal of political violence, the humanitarian situation remains stable.

In launching Operation Restore Hope, the multinational coalition faced a complex, tense, and rapidly unfolding situation. The authors detail how the carefully limited mission achieved its goals, including mutual understanding with the Somalis, by combining political, military, and humanitarian actions. But the authors also describe how different U.S. and UN concepts of the mission and subsequent changes in the mission’s scope led almost inevitably to confrontation.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

By: Payton Knopf

The Trump administration has appointed four special envoys to coordinate U.S. policy toward key hot spots: Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Afghanistan. Yet in the Red Sea—one of the most volatile and lethal regions of the world afflicted by several interconnected conflicts and rivalries that pose significant challenges to American interests—U.S. policy has been rudderless in large part due to the absence of a similar post.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

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