As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Obama Sends Combat Troops to Central Africa

U.S. forces are already stretched thin, but that hasn’t stopped President Obama from introducing them into a new theater of combat, sending special forces to central Africa to chase around someone named Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army.

Apparently, local troops in Uganda,  South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Congo can’t apprehend him, and he’s doing lots of terrible things, so U.S. troops are now involved.

The first batch of troops arrived in Uganda Wednesday, unannounced to the United States. A total of about 100 will eventually deploy. While armed, they are supposedly instructed to play defense only.

This is operation what’s known in technical military jargon as “a bad idea.”

Joseph Kony

What exactly happens if some of our troops are captured or killed? Do we then send more? But can we possibly afford not to defeat these barbarians now that our prestige is involved? Does anyone remember Somalia?

What this is, is the latest manifestation of the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine promulgated by White House National Security aide Samantha Power. The theory holds that the international community – that is, U.S. armed forces – have a responsibility to protect people who are victims of “crimes against humanity.”

Nobody likes “crimes against humanity.” But U.S. troops must be used sparingly. We cannot commit them half-heartedly to far-flung locations where we risk situations in which we either escalate or lose. And when we lose, our national security is gravely harmed.

The ignominious retreat from Somalia in 1994 overseen by Bill Clinton is part of what gave Osama Bin Laden the confidence to attack the United States, viewing us as effete cowards who wouldn’t dare to put up a fight.

And none of our men or women should be killed in some God-foresaken place unless there is an urgent national security interest. Can someone tell me what our national security interest is in Uganda?

The White House low-keyed this announcement as much as possible, putting word out on Friday afternoon when no one is listening and releasing only a letter informing Speaker Boehner of the action. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney didn’t even mention it in the briefing he held on Air Force One today.

Obama should have announced this himself and explained it to the American people. Instead, the action seems careless. We are now just casually throwing troops into theaters of battle all over the world.

Obama didn’t say anything because he knows the American people would never support it. Pity the mother whose son might die under torture at the hands of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

41 Responses to Obama Sends Combat Troops to Central Africa

  1. Great post, Keith.

    Two things really stick in my craw. First, as you pointed out, there is no US national interest there. Accordingly, we shouldn’t go there. Period. Second, it’s insane to go into a military action without preparing to actually wage war. That means being ready to kill people, maybe lots of them. If a President doesn’t have the stomach for that kind of violence or doesn’t feel that it is justified, then he has no business putting our best and brightest in harm’s way.

    2012 can’t get here fast enough…

  2. Maybe I’m wrong, but my gut feeling is that Obama is spreading our troops out so thin that when we really do need a large force, they won’t be available. Another one of his ways to take us down a few more notches.

  3. This is Little Barry trying to be G.I. Joe Barry in an attempt to show that he is a gung-ho military kind of guy that should be re-elected. After all, he got credit for assassinating his brother Osama and his other brother Al-Awaki. He is grasping at straws to see which one will get him re-elected – he knows now that his economic policies have done nothing but prove him to be a loathsome fool; he knows now that his boondoggle of a health care bill is an albatross around his neck; he knows now that even the leftist lunatics who voted for him in 2008 may not do so again; he knows now that his A.G. is turning into a political liability; he knows now that the people are aware that his green jobs/energy thing is a sham. This is a smoke screen.

  4. He is an utter disgrace. Sending 100 of our finest into that latrine hell hole. He is disgusting, a snake, he would not ever even lift a finger to do the least thing, not the least thing for anyone, especially for the kind of Americans that produce sons of the caliber he just sent to the worst place on earth.

    He wants the black American vote back. He’s doing something for mother Africa. He should be impeached, right now. He is a menace, a dangerous, stupid man.

  5. This is a scary move by the Prez and without any background that would explain why ‘now’, why ‘us’ and what the exit strategy might be makes us look like the warmongers of the world.

    There are outrages and atrocities in many places that we haven’t addressed; for instance, Syria and NorthKorea. So, why Uganda, MrO?

  6. Never heard of this group before today and they certainly aren’t persecuted Christians as I first thought, they are monsters. That being said, how does this man’s capture or killing relate to our national security? The crimes against humanity that are going on right now in Egypt, Syria, and Iran haven’t moved him enough to intervene. Why now? Why Africa?

    No president in my lifetime has ever overstepped his constitutional authority the way this man has. What is his ulterior motive? To bring this country to her knees, I fear.

  7. The “troops” we are sending are Special Forces, most likely Green Berets from 3rd SF Group (along with logistics and communications support and some USAF transport) These men are highly trained and more than capble of taking care of themselves (if they are given proper ROE…unlike Somalia). Im not too concerned because the US has been sending ‘troops’ like this to Africa, Central Asia, South America etc. for decades as “advisors”, “trainers” and to assist in “internal defense”.
    What I dont get is why has the Obama WH made an announcement about these troops going…?

  8. I’m sure that the troops being sent are either ForeCon, Seals, Rangers, CCT, and some CIA but the ROEs are going to be such as to pretty much get them all killed.

    Kony was indicted by the ICC years ago for crimes against humanity, including child abduction, rape, murder, etc. He is as insane as Amin was, believing in a cross of native superstition and twisted view of Catholicism. In May 2010 Obama signed the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. The act called for the disarming and apprehension of Kony.

    The act also, “Mandates President Obama to devise an interagency strategy within 180 days to prevent further LRA violence, which should include a multilateral plan to apprehend top LRA leaders, encourage defections of rebel commanders, demobilize child soldiers, and protect civilians from rebel attacks; and
    Calls for the US to dedicate $10 million in emergency support for communities in the DR Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic most affected by recent LRA attacks.”

    While the idea of protecting innocents anywhere in the world is commendable, we did it in Bosnia under Clinton, Obama’s waiting as long as he has to finally implement what was mandated by the Act makes this entire action suspect.

    His presidency is imploding, and I would bet good money that there will start to be a rash of indictments coming down as a result of all the scandals that are emerging. Americans are notorious for not voting out a “war president.” Perhaps that is what Obama is thinking, start another conflict, let it naturally accelerate to a full blown war all in the name of humanity, and flow into a second term on the blood of American troops.

    • LBJ thought escalating the war in Viet Nam might save his presidency. Instead it lead to his downfall. If Obama believes the American people are war mongers who will support his interventions around the world, he is sadly mistaken. I pray those indictments arrive before the caskets of the brave military he keeps putting in harm’s way.

  9. Why was this dumped on a Friday afternoon? Why did he not talk to Congress or the American people? I’m so sick of this everyday nightmare we are living in.

  10. Looks to me like a ‘Hail Mary’ event.
    If they are successful we will be hearing lots of Obama noise about how this is how the American army should be used, saving child soldiers in this long lasting war . In many ways it seems like a war from the 1800’s, with a slavery component and just pure brutality.
    Hopefully there is a coordinated effort with various countries going on in a determined effort to end this.

  11. There is something deeply disturbing about this it’s just wrong. This is not
    something for a Friday news drop before golf tomorrow. Why and why now
    what is this distraction for and we don’t belong there at all scary and our
    men and women deserve better than to be used by this man as pawns.
    Yes God forbid anyone dies in this strange misadventure.

  12. Great article Keith! Thanks for the background and analysis. I’m afraid your conclusion is correct. We still have horrible memories and images of Somalia…

  13. If Bush did this there would be an impeachment resolution sponsored by Kucinich with about 100 co-sponsors.

    Only Congress can declare war or authorize the use of force.

    Sorry, forgot – ever since Libya, Obama can do whatever he wants because the War Powers Act doesn’t apply.

    Where are the British? Where are the French? They were the colonial powers in Africa. Let them handle it.

  14. Thank you Keith for revealing yet another of Obamas follies. Just what the US needs in this recession, isn´t it ? I wasn´t aware of this monster Joseph Kony but the world, and especially Africa, is so full of them so why him and why now ? If this ends well the White House is hoping for a new minor Bin Laden moment for Obama. Then Obama will appear and claim the credit and use it in his campaign. Yes, right, “Wag the dog”. I believe there are three reasons for this adventure: divert focus from the disastrous economy, appeal to the black voters by doing something for the Africans , trying to be what Obama thinks is a tough guy so he won´t look so much like the timorous milksop he really is. And if it ends bad, it will be buried in silence and if this isn´t possible, blame….whoever.

  15. I thought that we gave money to the UN to act against crimes against humanity. Course, they are as worthless as tits on a boar hog and a waste of taxpayer money. Obama just wants something to happen that will make him look better, but that isn’t going to happen. He has too much garbage and permitted too much insanity to be reelected, only Fools will vote for him in 2012, course, I thought only Fools voted for him in 2008 too, and I was a lifelong Democrat in 2008, but left after Obama came on the scene. I just could not vote on BS and Lies and no record of even existing, no, Obama is Trash and needs to be carried to the curb!

  16. Lisa: My very thought exactly! The Messiah wants to descimate our military and this is as good a way as any. The congressional Stupid (er, I mean Super) Committee is busy looking for ways to NOT cut 1.5 Trillion out of the budget to thus ensure the military suffers devastating cuts. The Messiah is working it from the opposite end. They’ll meet in the middle and America will be screwed, as usual. I called my rep and howled about this yesterday. Nothing…….the fix is in!

  17. The phrase “mission creep” comes to mind. First 100 troops. Then when a few body bags come home, more troops. More body bags, more troops. And we all know that the ROE will only set these poor guys up for failure and losses of troops and material. This is a UN action that should be undertaken by the Africans troops first.

  18. These are pretty hard guys over there–wait, as you say, until an American is skinned alive over a fire or something. Darfur? Didn’t some people think that was pretty bad…they sent UN troops who were also kinda bad, a few of them. The big Muddy, I am tellin’ you. And some mems of Congress are already wailing over the cuts in defense…can we afford these forways…what if we need a drone there or two, or air support…etc.

    • Very easy. The odds are even greater when you consider that those 100 highly trained special ops ‘troops’ will be spread over 4 African countries. He learned nothing from the tragedy of the 22 Navy SEALS killed in Afghanistan just 2 months ago.

  19. The only thing that shocks me about this news is that 100 people are being sent – why not a drone take out if the only goal is to kill the LRA leader? Google the phrase, “Invisible Children” and you will find that Americans have been campaigning for quite awhile for the US to stand up and do something about the chaos and terror the LRA is causing in Uganda. It is compelling information. The deployment of 100 people is what baffles me…

    • Today comes the news that all troops will leave Iraq by year’s end…I am not sure I am buying it, what with the permanent bases we built there, but that is what they are saying.

  20. This is really getting out of hand. Remember how W was suppose to have screwed things up in foreign policy so bad but Obama would fix it? NKor is still a mess, Iran is more of a problem, Obama undid 30 plus years Camp David, now we got troops in Libya and Uganda. At some point, we got to wake up to the fact that this is far beyond incompetence.

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