Learning from Somalia Chapter uri icon


  • 1997 Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved. Doctrines develop in foreign affairs as a response to challenges. The doctrine of humanitarian interventionism has developed as one response to the rising tide of ethnic and religious conflict spreading through much of Africa, the Arab world, the Balkans, and the former Soviet states. Of all the humanitarian interventions undertaken since the end of the Cold War, Somalia was one of the most visible, expensive, and debated. A good deal of the Clinton Administration s reluctant response to complex emergencies generally has issued from its unhappy experience with Somalia. Measured by the number of lives lost in a relatively small geographic area in a relatively short period of time, Somalia was the worst humanitarian tragedy since the Ethiopia famine of 1984-1985. In fact, the Center for Disease Control reported that in the greater Baidoa area, the death rates were proportionally the highest in recorded famine history. 1 Somalia has engaged the attention of the senior foreign policy leadership of the U.S. government through two presidencies.

author list (cited authors)

  • Clarke, W. S.

complete list of authors

  • Clarke, Walter S

editor list (cited editors)

  • Clarke, W., & Herbst, J.

Book Title

  • Learning from Somalia: The Lessons of Armed Humanitarian Intervention

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM