Friday, October 14, 2011

Another War

Way to cut to the chase, MSNBC...

The fightin' advisers! But it's accurate. From the White House press announcement:
In furtherance of the Congress's stated policy, I have authorized a small number of combat equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield. I believe that deploying these U.S. Armed Forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter LRA efforts in central Africa.
Exactly how this relates to US national security is fuzzy at the moment, as is the idea of sending combat troops to support US foreign policy. Of course the left is beyond outraged--look at all the protests across the country that have already pooped up! But it's good there was some kind of congressional blessing this time, which is now apparently the sole responsibility of global warming denier and noted flat-earther Jim Inhofe. So it's all good.

MORE 10/15/11

Speaking of Obama's claim about national security, Uganda was the site of a terror attack during the 2010 World Cup where several Americans were killed..
November 6, 2010: Al Shabaab, the Somalia militant Islamist group, once again threatened Uganda with new terrorist attacks. Al Shabaab is trying to force Uganda to withdraw its peacekeeping contingent from the African Union's AMISOM peacekeeping operation in Somalia. Al Shabaab took credit for the July 11, 2010 terror attacks in Kampala. A man identified as an Al Shabaab senior commander recently threatened revenge attacks for what he said were violent acts committed by Ugandan troops in Somalia. The Ugandan government continues to hold 34 people in prison for alleged involvement in the July terror attacks.
Yet the same link begins as follows:
November 19, 2010: The government now estimates that the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has only 200 fighters. Other sources put its strength at 350 to 400. The LRA remains dangerous, having murdered around 2000 civilians in the last two years. They have hit unprotected villages in the Congo, Central African Republic, and southern Sudan. This is why many insist the government's campaign has failed. That depends on what you call failure, at least if considered from the Ugandan perspective. The LRA's ranks have been substantially diminished. In 2002 and 2003, LRA strength ran from 4,000 to 5,000 fighters. At that time the LRA had bases in southern Sudan but also maintained active cadres in northern Uganda. Northern Uganda has now been relatively free of LRA cadres for around three years. Indeed, the LRA is now a regional terrorist and criminal problem. That's terrible, and no one argues the organization should not be stopped. The LRA commits heinous crimes. But from a political perspective this means the remnant LRA has more enemies. That's fine with the Ugandan government.
So unless things have gone dramatically downhill in less than a year it appears Obama has reasonable confidence he can jump in and help finish off the LRA, with perhaps some leverage to battle the AQ affiliates. Not sure why he can't make the case this involves Al Shabaab if indeed it does, since they are an affiliate of the enemy who attacked us on 9/11, but evidently there's a reason. There's a lot of oil in the Sudan, and China gets most of it.

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