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.