The practice of Irregular Warfare has been happening for as long as war has. The Department of Defense defines it as a violent struggle among state and non-state actors for legitimacy and influence over the relevant populations, in layman’s terms it’s the government versus’ the people or uniform versus’ non-uniform. I will be identifying and describing how Stability Operation and Federal Internal Defense; just two of the five irregular warfare activities, were utilized effectively at different points in history for the country of Somalia.
Somalia is no stranger to conflict, having been governed by civilians until 1969; General Muhammed Siad Barre leads a military rebellion ending such known freedoms. For over two decades this military tyranny was in command of Somalia and its military forces. The United States aided in this tyranny with its own agenda backing it. Knowing that there would be a collapse in the Somalia economy, in the 1970s our government was donating over 100 million dollars in an attempt to stabilize its economy, only to use its influence of the position to overthrow General Barre.
These acts allowed for the forming of The Islamic Courts Union.Stability Operations is defined as an overarching term encompassing various military missions, task, and activities conducted outside the United States in coordination with other instruments of national power to maintain or reestablish a safe and secure environment, provide essential governmental services, emergency infrastructure reconstruction, and humanitarian relief (DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, 2019) The Islamic Court gained the support of the people by being able to offer health care services and education. In order to lower and sustain the crime rates, while also ending robberies and drug dealings in the area they took over the responsibility of the law enforcement and saw that they were paid by those they served, in particular, the local business owners; I see this being a baseline for taxation. For Stability Operations to be relative to Somalia during this time frame, I believe that the United States had to support putting the nation in a position to grow from its ashes. By keeping a tyrant in power allowed for the violent struggles of power within a single nation that brought about the much-required changes within it. For close to 15 years this platform worked for this nation until warlords combined their efforts to yet another power. Even still to this today, Somalia requires assistance from Foreign Internal Defenses just as it did in the past to make any movement forward.Foreign Internal Defense is known as the participation by civilian and military agencies of a government in any of the action programs taken by another government or other designated organization to free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, insurgency, terrorism, and other threats to its security (DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, 2019) Ethiopia and Kenya are the bordering nations of Somalia resulting in their direct gains or losses with any issues pertaining to Somalia. In particular, the African Union peacekeepers, the United Nations-sanctioned Transitional Federal Government, and the Nongovernmental aid Organizations that have previously participated in the rehabilitation of Somalia even after terrorist tactics were waged against them by the Al Shabaab organization. These investors have vast capabilities when unified and supported by U.S. Forces. In as recent years of 2008, a two-week campaign was forged to oust Al Shabaab from the southern region of Somalia. With this organization regrouping in rural areas, the Transitional Federal Government was not certain to maintain control of the country. Being able to address the economic and government issues allows the United States to offer a viable alternative to accepting the strict and oppressive ideologies of Islamic extremism, (Bourkard, 2011). I think that our ongoing relationship should not be overlooked with the Transitional Federal Government as they will be the connection for transition of authority when the U.S. Forces are no longer in full support. Humanitarian relief; which is another form of Stability Operations, is also required by way of security which the Nongovernmental aid Organizations would assist in. Until which point maintaining communication between the partner militaries (both of which will require military training and supplies). Communication amongst these agencies will be crucial to ensure that the appropriate relationships are fostered. Establishing these relationships during the planning stages will allow for the most effective use of resources as any shortfalls or limitations will be addressed and others will be made aware of them. While using Foreign Internal Defenses lays the foundation for success for the nations of Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia it is imperative for them to not only understand but also believe that making a unified effort is what will bring them success. Even with the smallest glimpse into nations past it’s obvious that Irregular Warfare; when properly waged can be beneficial not only to it’s on the nation but to those that support it, while at the same time showing that this is a tactic that is here to stay. As war evolves we too as warriors must grow and change to be able to effectively combat against it. With the changes in warfighting military personnel are being trained to conduct Irregular Warfare independently of, or in combination with, tradition warfare,’ with primary end state involving establishing or re-establishing order in a fragile state’ (Department of Defense, 2008).