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The Threat on the HorizonAn Inside Account of America's Search for Security after the Cold War$
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Loch K. Johnson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199737178

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199737178.001.0001

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Uneasy Birth

Uneasy Birth

Disaster in Somalia

(p.3) Chapter 1 Uneasy Birth
The Threat on the Horizon

Loch K. Johnson

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains why President Bill Clinton created the Aspin-Brown Commission of 1995–1996, led by Les Aspin and later by Harold Brown. More specifically, it examines the confluence of events that gave birth to the commission, including the U.S. military's involvement in Somalia in 1992 as part of the United Nations's humanitarian relief operation. It also considers the Clinton administration's policy decisions that affected the military forces' capability to defend themselves in Somalia, along with the criticisms hurled against the nation's intelligence agencies for failing to respond adequately to the violence that erupted not only in Somalia but also in Rwanda, Bosnia, Kuwait, and Haiti. In addition, the chapter looks at other crises that hounded U.S. intelligence in the years that followed the end of the Cold War, including the controversies surrounding the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Finally, it discusses the debate that accompanied the creation of the Aspin Commission, together with its early agenda.

Keywords:   military forces, Bill Clinton, Aspin-Brown Commission, Les Aspin, Harold Brown, Somalia, intelligence agencies, Rwanda, Cold War, Central Intelligence Agency

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