Accession Number:



Warfare in the Horn of Africa

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018

Corporate Author:

US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



This project challenges the Major Paul Godsons previous assertion from a 2014 SAMS monograph that exhaustion is the African way of war. By focusing on the Horn of Africa, this project relies on three case studies the Eritrean War of Independence, the Ogaden War, and the Somali Civil War, to demonstrate that exhaustion is not a uniformly salient feature of warfare within the African continent. The selected case studies offer perspectives of varying types of conflict, both interstate and intrastate, and conventional and irregular warfare. The project begins by providing a history of the Horn of Africa, explaining the societal and political evolution of the three states of interest, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia, from precolonial times to present. After disproving the proposition that exhaustion is the African way of war, this research contributes to the professional body of knowledge by drawing regional trends of conflict from the case studies. These trends include the reliance on proxy warfare, territorial significance, and the transnational interest in regional conflicts. The research concludes with emphasis on how military professionals assigned to the region can better prepare themselves to understand this dynamic environment.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement: