Friday, October 14, 2011
President Barack Obama, without Congressional authorization and with just twelve and a half months before the 2012 presidential election, deployed 100 U.S. combat troops to Africa, the White House announced Friday.
In an act eerily familiar to the unauthorized bombing of Libya last March, Obama “informed” House and Senate leaders in a letter of his actions:
“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.”
Obama’s stated use of U.S. troops is removing from the battlefield Joseph Kony and other senior leadership of the LRA. Kony and his top advisers are under indictment by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. He and his army have been responsible for murdering, raping, and kidnapping possibly tens of thousands of men, women, and children in central Africa.
The first American troops taking part in the mission landed in Uganda on Wednesday, according to Obama. Over time, the U.S. troops are expected to deploy to the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan.
Fighting in those countries have been going on for years, and Obama gave no precise explanation for the timing of the U.S. deployment. The president said simply that “regional military efforts have thus far been unsuccessful in removing” Kony and that deploying the U.S. force would advance “U.S. national security interests and foreign policy.”