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ISG'S WHITNEY GRESPIN’S RECENT ARTICLE ON SOVIET ASSISTANCE TO SOMALIA

Posted: Oct 13, 2022

ISG Africa Regional Program Lead Dr. Whitney Grespin’s recently published an article titled, “Things Fall Apart: Soviet Assistance to the Somali Armed Forces, 1960–1977” in the latest issue of The Journal of African Military History. In this piece, Dr. Grespin and co-author Mr. Matthew Marchese noted, “As Cold War tensions rose, Soviet aid was offered to the nascent Somali government in pursuit of broader geopolitical machinations that were seen to supersede Somali interests, laying the groundwork for a decades-long mismatch between local intentions and Cold War superpower objectives in the Horn of Africa.” The result of this mismatch, they argue, “left Somalia with an unsustainable, corrupt, and repressive security structure as a direct result of high levels of foreign assistance that were not well coordinated with host nation sustainment capabilities.” When asked about the origins of this project by an ISG colleague, Dr. Grespin explained that it was born in 2019 while she was in Mogadishu and was asked what the U.S. Government had gleaned from the Soviet experience of training the Somali military – an issue that had received little scholarly attention to that point. Dr. Grespin’s fellowship at The George Washington University’s Institute for African Studies created the impetus to formally take on this question and to produce what she hopes is a useful primer. Congratulations, Dr. Grespin!

A link to the article can be found here (paywall).

ISG Colleagues: The full article will be available for download in coming weeks via your CAC-enabled access to DAU > DSCU Virtual Library > EbscoHost > Things Fall Apart