By December 19th, the number of official U.S. diplomatic staff members in Mogadishu had been reduced from 147 to 37 out of concern for their safety, a decision that was validated on December 31st when the U.S. defense attaché’s car was riddled with bullets and another officer’s vehicle was sprayed with gunfire at a roadblock to the extent that he had to limp the vehicle to the U.S. compound on its front rims. Ambassador Bishop later reported that on New Year’s Day 1991, fighting on the road that bordered the U.S. Embassy made the area a shooting gallery. Ambassador Bishop cabled Washington and asked for U.S. military assistance to evacuate the Embassy staff from the city as American lives were in grave danger.
 GlobalSecurity.org, “Operation Eastern Exit,” https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/eastern_exit.htm.
 Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps, Operational Maneuver from the Sea (1996), p. 4; Gary J. Ohls, “Eastern Exit–Rescue ‘…From the Sea’,” Naval War College Review, vol 61, no. 4, article 11 (2008), p. 132.
 James K. Bishop, “Escape from Mogadishu,” Foreign Service Journal (March 1991), p. 27.
 Ibid. pp. 27-28.
© Robert A. Doss