After the success of the First Gulf War, the UN – and the principle of collective security, was tested throughout the 1990’s. The first major test came in Somalia, which had emerged as one of the first failed states in the post Cold War era. The government of Somalia collapsed, and the country entered a period of civil war between rival warlords. Food became an important source of power for the warlords, and famine conditions emerged. Pressured by widespread media coverage of the famine, the US and the UN intervened, first to provide aid, but then to insure stability in Somalia – essentially engaging in peace-enforcement activities – this was more an example of “mission creep” as it became clear that in order to alleviate the famine, the political situation in Somalia had to be stabilized. The first major test of the international community’s – and the US’s – will came during a battle in Mogadishu, where several American soldiers were killed and their bodies dragged through the streets. The US withdrew its soldiers – and the
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