Obama Sends Troops To Africa
October 15, 2011 by staff
Obama Sends Troops To Africa, Intervene in a brutal and volatile crisis, President Barack Obama said on Friday it has sent 100 U.S. troops in central Africa to support the struggle of many years against a guerrilla group accused of horrific atrocities. Obama said it was sent to advise not to go into battle, unless forced to defend themselves.
In a letter to Congress, Obama said the troops will act as advisors in a long battle with Lord’s Resistance Army, considered one of the rebel groups in Africa’s most ruthless and help hunt down their famous leader, Joseph Kony.
The first troops arrived in Uganda on Wednesday, said the White House, and others will be sent to southern Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
While the size of the footprint of the U.S. is small, Obama’s announcement represents a rare intervention that the United States. Although some U.S. troops based in Djibouti and small groups of soldiers have been deployed in Somalia, the U.S. has traditionally been reluctant to commit forces to help African countries to insurgencies.
This demonstrates the increasing attention of the Obama administration and concerns about security risks in Africa, including the networks of t*rror*sm, piracy and unstable nations. The measure was intended to show a commitment to reduce the impact of a prolonged war of the worst in Africa.
Obama said his decision to send troops as in line with the national security interests of the United States. The White House announced in an unobtrusive manner, the release of Obama notification and justification of the deployment of troops that the president sent congressional leaders.
There have been other forces and U.S. in Uganda in the past and is likely to continue during and after this mission. The numbers have fluctuated, based on the requirements, but generally there have been fewer than 100 soldiers.
Pentagon officials said most of the implementation of new troops will be of special operations, which provide safety training and combat units in Africa. The measure raises the profile of U.S. involvement on the continent – and represents an apparent victory for the administration officials who have argued for stronger intervention in humanitarian crises.
The policy change may reflect the longstanding concerns of a number of senior Obama aides left marked by the failure of U.S. in the decade from 1990 to intervene to stop the genocide in Rwanda and late action finally stop the violence in Bosnia. For a parallel stream, the Lord’s Resistance Army 24-year campaign of rebellion, rape and murder is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, right now.
“The application of the forces is well before today’s announcement,” said Pentagon spokesman George Little. “This effort is specifically an extension of the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, which President Obama signed into law on May 25, 2010. Until recently, the forces required were not available to meet this requirement. ”
Richard Downie, an Africa expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington called the case “exceptional. There are few clear cases of evil in the world today that the Lord’s Resistance Army.”
Downie said that the U.S. have once before, in late 2008, sent advisers and logistical support to help root the LRA by the Ugandan army. Intelligence leaks, poor cooperation between Uganda and other African armies, and bad weather hampered the operation.
Since then, nearly 400,000 people in northern Congo have been displaced by LRA activity, he said. Downie said that the operation should not be seen as short term. Even if the LRA quickly dissolved, the effects of years of war will require prolonged rehabilitation efforts.
Leaving the Administration of success, albeit limited, intervention in Libya, Uganda deployment represents an ongoing effort by Obama to use military force for humanitarian protection in areas where atrocities occur. The sending of 100 soldiers may not be meaningful in terms of number of soldiers, but the composition of the force of the United States gives a foothold against t*rror*sm in a new region with terrorist networks, pirates and unstable nations .
A special forces unit can be very effective beyond the number of soldiers might suggest. They are skilled in the disruption of insurgent networks to discover, where the rebels are based and how to get weapons, money and logistical support.
Obama letter to Congress said the deployment “hereinafter U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution to the fight against the LRA in central Africa’s efforts.”
Lord’s Resistance Army has been pushing westward, since the attacks began his year to go, and administration and human rights groups say their atrocities have left thousands dead and some 300,000 Africans have been on the run . They have accused the group of children take to strengthen its ranks of soldiers and sometimes forcing them to become sex slaves.
Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court under an order of 2005 for crimes against humanity in his native Uganda. A self-proclaimed prophet, mixing Christian mysticism with politics, which are believed hiding along the border between Sudan and Congo.
The deployment was supported by Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla., Who has visited the region.
“I have witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by the LRA, and this will help end atrocities Kony have created a human rights crisis in Africa,” he said in a statement. “Today’s action offers hope that the end of the LRA is in sight.”
But Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., Hailing the focus of the fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army, warned that previous deployments with the humanitarian objectives as a result of unexpected tragedies.
“For this reason, it is essential that the president consult with Congress on any deployment of our military forces at risk,” said McCain. “I’m sorry this was not the case today announced deployment of U.S. troops to central Africa, and I urge the president to keep Congress and the American people fully informed.”
Obama’s letter emphasized the limited nature of the implementation.
“Our forces will provide information, advice and assistance in selecting the forces of allied nations,” he said. “While U.S. forces are combat-equipped, not undertake … LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense.”
Most of the troops deployed in the regional capitals of working with government officials and military commanders in the fight against the rebels and protect civilians, Pentagon officials said.
In recent months the government has intensified its support to Uganda, which has played a key role in the fight against extremists in Somalia.
In June, the Pentagon moved to send about 45 million and military equipment to Uganda and Burundi. The assistance included four small planes, bulletproof vests and night vision and communications equipment and is being used in the fight against al-Shabab, a group of Al-Qaida that U.S. officials see as a growing threat and African troops to peacekeeping in Somalia have been struggling to suppress.
The State Department officials raised new troop deployments as part of a strategy against the LRA that dates back to the Bush administration, but also includes legislation passed by Congress this year.
Victoria Nuland, a department spokesman, said U.S. troops help to “pursue the LRA and try to bring senior officers of justice.” The broader effort includes encouraging rebel fighters to desert, disarm and return home, he said.
Management informed human rights activists before the announcement, and officials of the groups is encouraged.
“These counselors can make a positive difference in the floor, keeping civilians safe and enhancement of military operations to stop the LRA top commanders,” said Paul Ronan, director of the advocacy group to solve.
Colonel Felix Kulayigye, Uganda army spokesman said the troops: “We are aware that they are happy about it coming We look forward to working with them and the elimination of Kony and his fighters …”
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