Jonathan Howe

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Jonathan T. Howe
Jonathan howe.jpg
Born (1935-08-24) August 24, 1935 (age 83)
San Diego County, California, U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1957–1992
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands heldUSS Berkeley (DDG-15)
Destroyer Squadron 31
Cruiser-Destroyer Group 3
US Naval Forces Europe
Allied Forces Southern Europe
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal (6)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (2)
National Security Medal
Other workU.N. Special Representative for Somalia
President, Arthur Vining Davis Foundation

Jonathan Trumbull Howe (born August 24, 1935) is a retired four-star United States Navy Admiral, and was the Special Representative for Somalia to United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali from March 9, 1993, succeeding Ismat Kittani from Iraq, until his resignation in February 1994.[1] During his time in Somalia he oversaw UNOSOM II operations including the 'Bloody Monday' attack labelled a massacre of civilians by witnesses.[2][3]

Howe was also the former Deputy National Security Advisor in the first Bush Administration. He currently is Executive Director of The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.[4]

Howe is a 1957 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, and earned M.A., M.A.L.D. (Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy), and Ph.D. degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University from 1968–1969.[5] He retired from the United States Navy in 1992.

Howe's Naval commands include the USS Berkeley (DDG-15) (1974–1975), Destroyer Squadron 31 (1977–1978), and Cruiser-Destroyer Group Three (1984–1986). His other assignments include Military Assistant to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (1969–1974), Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs (1975–1977), Chief of Staff of the Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan (1978–1980), Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1981 to 1982, Director of the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs from 1982 to 1984, Deputy Chairman, NATO Military Committee, Brussels, Belgium (1986–1987), Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1987–1989). From May 1989 he served simultaneously as Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe and Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe. Following that assignment, he was named Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs by President George H. W. Bush in 1991, succeeding Robert M. Gates when he moved on to become CIA director.[6]

During his time as Deputy Assistant he was directly involved in the pursuit of President Manuel Noriega of Panama.[7][8]

Service in Somalia and the Bloody Monday Attack[edit]

In 1992, Howe was selected by the Clinton Administration to head UNOSOM II - the UN operation in Somalia which took over from the US in May in what was described by one American official as "the miscasting of the century."[3] In this capacity he came under criticism for hiding away from the action in his fortified bunker,[7][3] and for his pursuit of Somali military leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid which was called a "personal vendetta."[7]

On July 12, 1993, Howe oversaw the event Somalis call Bloody Monday.[3] According to American war correspondent Scott Peterson a group of Somali elders had gathered at a house to discuss a way to make peace to end the violence between Somali militias and the UN forces.[3] The gathering had been publicized in Somali newspapers the day before the attack as a peace gathering.[3] After being tipped off by an undercover operative, American Cobra attack helicopters launched TOW Missiles and 20 mm caliber cannon fire at the structure.[3] According to a Somali survivor, American ground troops killed 15 survivors at close range with pistols, a charge American commanders deny.[3] According to the International Committee of the Red Cross there were over 200 Somali casualties.[2] Four Western journalists were killed at the scene by Somalis following the attacks.[3]

Admiral Howe claimed that the mission took out a "very key terrorist planning cell" and that no civilians were killed. He stated "we knew what we were hitting. It was well planned."[3] The event is considered a turning point in the war as Somalis turned from wanting peace to wanting revenge, ultimately leading to the Black Hawk Incident.[2] Human Rights Watch declared that the attack "looked like mass murder."[9]

Personal Life[edit]

He is author of the 1971 book Multicrises: Seapower and Global Politics in the Missile Age.[10]

Admiral Howe is married to Dr. Harriet Mangrum Howe, whom he met in high school; her father, Richard C. Mangrum, was a U.S. Marine Corps general and served as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and his father, Hamilton W. Howe, was a Navy Admiral.[11] She was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Florida.[12] They have six grown children, and currently reside in Florida.

Awards and decorations[edit]

On January 13, 1993, after retirement, he received the National Security Medal.[13]


  1. ^ Department of Public Information, United Nations (1997-03-21). "United Nations Operation in Somalia II -- (UNISOM II)". Retrieved 2006-11-15.
  2. ^ a b c Megas, Natalia (2019-01-06). "Did the U.S. Cover Up a Civilian Massacre Before Black Hawk Down?". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 1966-, Peterson, Scott, (2000). Me against my brother : at war in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda : a journalist reports from the battlefields of Africa. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415921988. OCLC 43287853.
  4. ^ "Board of Trustees and Staff". The Arthur Vining David Foundations. Archived from the original on 2006-10-04. Retrieved 2006-11-15.
  5. ^ "Nomination of Jonathan T. Howe to be Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs". George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. 1991-11-19. Archived from the original on August 25, 2004. Retrieved 2006-11-15.
  6. ^ "Bush Names Security Deputy". New York Times. 1991-11-20. Retrieved 2006-11-15.
  7. ^ a b c "'Briefcase admiral' blamed in Somalia crisis: American UN envoy". The Independent. 1993-10-08. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  8. ^ Frederick., Kempe, (1990). Divorcing the dictator : America's bungled affair with Noriega. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 0399135170. OCLC 20933992.
  9. ^ "SOMALIA". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  10. ^ Howe, Jonathan T. (1971). Multicrises: Seapower and Global Politics in the Missile Age. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-08043-5. OCLC 159041.
  11. ^ Patton, Charlie (June 12, 2006). "City will meet the world through his steering". Florida Times-Union. Swarthmore College - Swarthmore in the News, June 29, 2006. p. B-1. Archived from the original on July 19, 2007.
  12. ^ "Sociology Department faculty". University of North Florida. Archived from the original on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2006-11-15.
  13. ^ "Remarks on Presenting the National Security Medal to Admiral Jonathan T. Howe and an Exchange With Reporters". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 2006-11-15.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Richard Burt
Director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs
May 10, 1982 – July 1, 1984
Succeeded by
John T. Chain, Jr.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Robert Gates
Deputy National Security Advisor
1991 – 1993
Succeeded by
Sandy Berger