- Africa : Continent stretching over the equator, hosting deserts, tropical jungles and savannah as well as over fifty nations; population about 900,000,000.
- Horn of Africa : A peninsula in East Africa, bordered by the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
- Failed state : A nation or quasi-nation unable to deliver minimal governance services to its citizens; there may not even be a functioning government
- Peace operations : Operations other than all-out war, conducted by neutral parties, to ensure the continuance of a peace, or, in the face of resistance, to enforce it.
- Berbera : Add brief definition or description
- Bossasso : Add brief definition or description
- Mogadishu : Largest city and port, as well as official capital, of Somalia
- Kismayo : Add brief definition or description
- Djibouti : Republic located along the north-east coast of Africa, adjacent to the Horn of Africa.
- Kenya : A country of 38 million in East Africa.
- Ethiopia : Among the oldest countries of the world, from which Muslim-majority Eritrea split after a civil war; Coptic Christian-majority state in East Africa
- Qat : Natural stimulant plant grown and used recreationally in East Africa; highly perishable; important in social bonding, especially in Somalia and Yemen
- Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed : President of Somalia, 2006, 2009-present
- Al-Shabaab (insurgency) : An Islamist group in Somalia, accused of having generic terrorism and specific al-Qaeda affiliations
- African Union : Continental organization, which succeeded the Organisation of African Unity on September 9, 1999.
- Piracy : Violence against, or detention of, by private individuals, against aircraft or ships under national registry
- Task Force 151 : A multinational naval task force, created around Expeditionary Strike Group TWO from United States Central Command, which is conducting counter-piracy operations in the waters off Somalia; now under Turkish Navy command
- Mohammed Farrah Aideed : Add brief definition or description
- Robert Oakley : Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, National Defense University; retired career diplomat who was U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Zaire, and Somalia; State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism; Director for Middle East and South Asia on National Security Council staff and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Affairs; Special Envoy to Somalia for George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton
- Operation Provide Relief : Add brief definition or description
- United Nations Operations Somalia I (UNISOM I) : Add brief definition or description
- Unified Task Force (UNITAF) : Add brief definition or description
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 794 : Add brief definition or description
- Chapter VII peace operations : peace operations authorized under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, which allows the UN units to use full military firepower, not only in self-defense, to enforce the UN goals
- Operation Restore Hope : United States military operations in Somalia, under UN Chapter VII peace operations authority, first involving humanitarian relief but eventually increasing to political operations culminating in the Battle of Mogadishu
- John Kline : U.S. House of Representatives (R-Minnesota); Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor; U.S. House Armed Services Committee: Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee ; retired colonel, United States Marine Corps, duty as presidential helicopter pilot and military aide to Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan; commanded Marine aviation forces in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, Republican Study Committee
- William Garrison : Add brief definition or description
- 10th Mountain Division : A division headquarters of the United States Army, made up of light brigade combat teams that can be deployed with a minimum of long-range transport resources
- 75th Ranger Regiment : Assigned to the Army Special Operations Command of the United States Special Operations Command, a highly skilled, parachute-qualified light infantry unit that conducts raids in uniform (e.g., seizing airfields or destroying strategic targets), and provides perimeter security during direct action by other special operators
- Delta Force : A generally covert U.S. Army unit in Joint Special Operations Command, specializing in hostage rescue and combat search and rescue, direct action, special reconnaissance, and counterterrorism.
- Anthony Zinni : A retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general, whose assignments included heading United States Central Command and serving as a special envoy for the Israel-Palestinian process. He is strongly critical of the George W. Bush Administration and resigned, in protest, from his diplomatic role.