Planning for Operation Eastern Exit

Posted by & filed under .

In the history of the United States, 240 American diplomats and U.S. government personnel have died in the line of duty while serving at American diplomatic establishments. This includes eight U.S. Ambassadors with the most recent being U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens who along with three other Americans were killed in a coordinated attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. The dangers that American diplomats and U.S. government personnel face while serving at American diplomatic establishments overseas especially those in Middle East countries is all to real. In late December of 1990, the bloody civil war in Mogadishu, Somalia was spiraling out of control. The Somali government was in the final stages of collapsing as they were close to being defeated by three rebel groups in which one was lead by General Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The violence had spread over to the U.S. Embassy in which the civil war in Mogadishu was described as a war of all against all. Hostile Somali forces armed with AK-47 assault rifles and RPG’S begin circling the U.S. Embassy like lions sizing up their prey. Italian officials in Mogadishu made efforts to arrange a cease fire among the factions but it failed because none of the rebel groups were willing to negotiate. With the failure of this effort, the U.S. Ambassador to Somalia, James K Bishop realized his options were narrowing, and on January 2, 1991, he made the call to Washington D.C. for rescue. Ambassador Bishop stated to Washington D.C. that they would need U.S. military assistance in departing a city in which the lives of Americans were now seriously endangered. His message was clear and frank: ” If a U.S. Military Rescue Force does not arrive in time, there will be no one to rescue”. Ambassador Bishop urgent request for help received immediate attention in Washington D.C., and set in motion the planning and execution of Operation Eastern Exit. There were over 200 men, women, and children trapped at the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia, it was just a matter of time before the U.S. Embassy would be attacked by an over whelming force of armed hostile somali forces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>