Green Room

Breaking: Obama sends U.S. troops to Uganda

posted at 7:38 pm on October 14, 2011 by

President Obama announced in a letter to Congress late on Friday that he would be deploying 100 special forces troops to Uganda to help the government take down a rebel group that has plagued the African nation for two decades.

The group, the Lord’s Resistance Army and its bloodthirsty leader, Joseph Kony, have recruited Ugandan children in their mission, ordering them to commit atrocities, including murdering their own families, or face mutilation.

In the letter Obama writes:

Although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense.

In a separate statement, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland noted that the U.S. has provided more than $40 million in equipment and training to Uganda’s military to aid in what has been a decades-long stalemate between the government and the LRA.

The decision to put boots on the ground is supported by Congress, which in 2010 passed “the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act,” authorizing U.S. efforts to eliminate the LRA menace.

The president claims in his letter that the move is being made in the interests of national security, though one is hard-pressed to justify the action on other than humanitarian grounds. I am not suggesting that those are not valid reasons, but it’s high time the president started calling a spade a spade.

It is equally hard not to feel cynical about his decision once again to bury the announcement late on Friday, at the end of the weekly news cycle, or to question why no statement was made directly to the American people.

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This really isn’t anything new. The US Special Forces are in dozens of countries teaching indigenous soliders how to defeat insurgents, narcotrafficantes and other miscreants. We can add these countries to the list.

NNtrancer on October 14, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Why didn’t Congress/BarryO commit to knocking out El Shabaab first? Or look for a diplomatic solution, i.e., send in Hillary? What about a speech, something BarryO calls for even just to announce his NCAA picks?

Two decades? Several Congresses? And presidents? We’re missing too much of the story.

Robert17 on October 15, 2011 at 11:36 AM