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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 25, 2014 - 8:15 am

President Obama submitted his increase in U.S. forces in central Africa per the War Powers Resolution, stressing that they wouldn’t engage the Lord’s Resistance Army unless fired upon first.

Obama sent the notification to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate President Pro Tempore Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) today, saying “U.S. military personnel with appropriate combat equipment have deployed to Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic to support regional forces from the African Union’s Regional Task Force that are working to apprehend or remove Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and other senior leaders from the battlefield and to protect local populations.”

“Regional forces have consistently identified air mobility support with increased range and speed as one of the most-needed capabilities to pursue the remaining Lord’s Resistance Army leaders across a wide swath of one of the world’s poorest, least governed, and most remote regions. To enhance U.S. support to these regional forces, U.S. aircraft, aircrews, and support personnel deployed to central Africa on March 23 and 24, 2014. The approximately 150 additional personnel will principally operate and maintain U.S. aircraft to provide air mobility support to foreign partner forces,” Obama wrote.

That brings the number of U.S. personnel in the region to “approximately 280.”

The effort to hunt down Kony began under the George W. Bush administration, when the president sent 17 advisers to assist Ugandan troops. Obama sent additional assistance in 2011.

The guerrilla leader was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2005 for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including kidnapping children to serve as soldiers in his group or as sex slaves.

“The aircraft and personnel providing the enhanced air mobility support will deploy to the Lord’s Resistance Army-affected areas of central Africa episodically, as they are available, consistent with other Department of Defense requirements,” continues the War Powers notification. “During these deployments, the number of U.S. Armed Forces deployed to the central Africa region will fluctuate, and may increase to as many as approximately 300. As I previously reported, U.S. forces will not themselves engage Lord’s Resistance Army forces unless necessary in self-defense.”

Obama said the deployment “is in furtherance of the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, including the policy expressed in the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, Public Law 111-172, enacted May 24, 2010.”

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters yesterday that the department has deployed four CV-22 Ospreys two C- 130s, and one KC-135 to northern Uganda.

“They’ll be there for a period of time. These are aircraft and troops — support troops that are based out of Djibouti. They’ll be — they’ll be conducting, you know, periodic deployments to Uganda to support this mission,” Kirby said.

The 100 troops already there are special ops forces. The additional personnel ordered by Obama are “air crew, maintenance personnel, with the aircraft,” Kirby said.

“This is a mission that we’ve been conducting now for about a year. This is a support mission. Airlift has been one of the consistent requirements and requests of the African Union. We are in a position now to provide that airlift for a while and we’re going to do it.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
By definition if you are relegated to reacting, to defense only if fired upon, then you area target.

Operators might be better marksmen. They might have more grit. They might have better tactics. But if they are limited in those tactics it makes it much easier for the opposition to plan. the opposition can fail several times and yet still be around long enough to evolve and come up with better tactics.

If you haven't wiped out your enemy in 3 years you are training them. Now the leadership of the LRA might not be the sharpest people, but among them are people who do learn either fast or slow. Now if they get an SA-7 or an SA-24 Lots of those floating around since the downfall of Libya), how much return fire can the pilots of an Osprey effect?

Uhmmmmm... None!

Libya is awful close as the crow files to Uganda for arms trafficking purposes.

Therefore, they are targets.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
We Americans are only welcome when there is an expectation of bales upon bales of our U.S Taxpayers' cash to be counted out in advance by those corrupt governments.
Obama has no potential constituency in Africa, or, does he? Perhaps he has had all along?
Why haven't the British and French already provided any needed military and financial help, they're the ones with their former Colonial Offices' file cabinets filled with informational folders from their colonial days in Africa, there in their former turf?
They probably know better than to re-involved "on the ground" again in Africa.....is that why Obama has fixed some Americans to be stepping in where the former French and British Colonial Governments know better?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isin't this how Vietnam started?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
All the LRA needs is enough $$ to buy the SA-24s looted from Libyan armories. they would have to be smuggle over 2,000 miles from Libya or other places in Africa.

A plane with counter measures might avoid 2 or 3 Grinch's, but if there were more It is doubtful they would survive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Russian_weaponry#Man-portable_air_defense_systems
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
"as many as 300", huh?.......

er..... can't help it......."madness?..... this is SPARTA!".....XD........
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think he's trying to leave, in his mind, a half-a$$ed legacy. It's an election year.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, indeed, appropriately inside Africa.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hunting down Kony is a good thing ... he's not hard to find if some serious hunters were given the go-ahead; and he's good practice for drones too.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about a half dozen Delta Force operators with no capacity for taking prisoners?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
If they're not permitted to fire, they're just there to be targets. They shouldnt be sent if they're just going to be targets.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where are you reading that?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
By definition if you are relegated to reacting, to defense only if fired upon, then you area target.

Operators might be better marksmen. They might have more grit. They might have better tactics. But if they are limited in those tactics it makes it much easier for the opposition to plan. the opposition can fail several times and yet still be around long enough to evolve and come up with better tactics.

If you haven't wiped out your enemy in 3 years you are training them. Now the leadership of the LRA might not be the sharpest people, but among them are people who do learn either fast or slow. Now if they get an SA-7 or an SA-24 Lots of those floating around since the downfall of Libya), how much return fire can the pilots of an Osprey effect?

Uhmmmmm... None!

Libya is awful close as the crow files to Uganda for arms trafficking purposes.

Therefore, they are targets.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Joint Newsflash from State Department and WhiteHouse:

"Kony and cronys shaking in their boots and reportedly having to use Cialis & Viagra and loosing sleep."
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Meh, I don't have a problem with it. Not too expensive and it gives some of our special forces real live training. Keep them sharp.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't be so casual with other families' young soldiers.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
What training? Flying from point A to point B or dodging SA-7s?

The latter might not be training. It might be a one time experience.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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