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This entry examines the history of humanitarian and enforcement interventions in Somalia that took place in the 1990s and their legacy. Initially, the United Nations intervened in the early 1990s to avert a humanitarian crisis and deployed a small peacekeeping force to ensure delivery of desperately needed food to starving Somalia. In 1992 and 1993, with the support of the outgoing administration of George H. W. Bush and the incoming administration of Bill Clinton, the UN mission expanded to include nation-building. Despite the commitment of substantial American forces to support the UN, this mission went disastrously wrong and led to the American and the UN withdrawal from Somalia. The legacy of Somalia would call into question the role of the United States in nation-building as ...

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