Somalia Table of Contents
The armed forces traditionally had enjoyed considerable prestige in Somali society. The military's early popularity was reflected in the fact that its numbers were maintained without resort to conscription. Chronic manpower shortages, however, compelled the government to institute a draft in 1984 (see Manpower, Training, and Conditions of Service , this ch.). For most of its postindependence history, the military had been involved in conflicts against its neighbors or against domestic insurgent groups.