Monday, August 8, 2011

Today in Manhunting History -- August 8, 1993: Enter the IEDs

In response to the UNOSOM II attacks on Mohammed Farah Aideed, his Somali National Alliance escalated the violence against the international peacekeepers. On August 8, four American military policemen were killed when their Humvee was destroyed by a remotely detonated antitank mine similar to the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that became ubiquitous in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade later. Again, Jonathan Howe asked for a strike team to snatch Aideed. Although Howe had stridently opposed a similar operation against Noriega during the Reagan administration, his obsession led one aide of Defense Secretary Les Aspin to observe Howe had “adopted Aideed as his Great White Whale,” and Howe’s nickname in Washington became “Jonathan Ahab.” Again, CENTCOM commander General Joseph Hoar did not endorse Howe’s request for Delta Force, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell also expressed reservations regarding the aggressive pursuit of the SNA.

The remains of the Humvee destroyed by the Somali mine, which killed Sgt. Ronald N. Richerson, Sgt. Christopher K. Hilgert, Spec. Keith D. Pearson, and Spec. Mark E. Gutting.

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