Country Listing

Somalia Table of Contents


The Military and the Economy

Under the Siad Barre regime, the army command, in conjunction with the Ministry of Defense, annually assessed the military's needs. The Ministry of Defense then passed budget recommendations to Siad Barre, who made final budget decisions.

With the formation of the SNA, the cost of maintaining the military establishment became the largest item in the national budget. During the first decade after independence, military expenditure increased at an average rate of more than 9 percent a year; moreover, defense costs consistently exceeded the combined amounts budgeted for health and education.

Between 1961 and 1979, Somalia imported approximately US$660 million in arms. During this same period, the SNA's personnel strength increased from 4,000 to 54,000. Although precise figures were unavailable, Somalia's military expenditures totaled about US$44.5 million annually for the 1980-90 decade.