Why “dump” this story on a Friday? Supposedly President Obama dispatched U.S. special forces two days ago into Uganda, Sudan, CAR and Congo to find “Lords Resistance Army” leader Joseph Krony under the auspices of his Responsibility To Protect (R2P) doctrine. According to international reports Joseph Krony is a murderous, horrific domestic terrorist within the African region.
According to ABC News report two days ago President Obama authorized the deployment to Uganda of approximately 100 combat-equipped U.S. forces to help regional forces “remove from the battlefield” — meaning capture or kill — Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and senior leaders of the LRA.
The forces will deploy beginning with a small group and grow over the next month to 100. They will ultimately go to Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the permission of those countries.
The president made this announcement in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Friday afternoon, saying 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.”
He said that “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.”
The president said that for more than two decades the LRA has been responsible for having “murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women, and children in central Africa” and continues to “commit atrocities across the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan that have a disproportionate impact on regional security.”
The US has been helping the four African nations counter the LRA for several years by providing local militaries with training and equipment. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo the US helped train a light infantry battalion deployed to fight the LAR and over the last three years in Uganda the US has provided $33 million to help Uganda’s military.
As for how long the US troops will be in the region, a spokesman at US Africa Command says he could not provide specifics, “but our forces are prepared to stay as long as necessary to enable regional security forces to carry on independently.
The president in his letter noted that Congress passed “the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act,” signed into law on May 24, 2010, in which, the president said, “the Congress also expressed support for increased, comprehensive U.S. efforts to help mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the LRA to civilians and regional stability.”
When the president signed that letter in May 2010, he said the bill “crystallizes the commitment of the United States to help bring an end to the brutality and destruction that have been a hallmark of the LRA across several countries for two decades, and to pursue a future of greater security and hope for the people of central Africa. The Lord’s Resistance Army preys on civilians – killing, raping, and mutilating the people of central Africa; stealing and brutalizing their children; and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Its leadership, indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, has no agenda and no purpose other than its own survival. It fills its ranks of fighters with the young boys and girls it abducts. By any measure, its actions are an affront to human dignity.”
The act passed both houses of Congress with overwhelming support on May 10, 2010 with language that included “providing political, economic, military, and intelligence support for viable multilateral efforts to protect civilians from the Lord’s Resistance Army.”
Human Rights Watch has a great deal of information about the infamous LRA.
So this is the “supposed justification” for U.S. involvement. But it strikes as more than a little coincidental the timing of this action happens on the same day a terror plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador on U.S. soil was revealed. The same day. At the same time Attorney General Eric Holder was revealing the terror plot U.S. special forces were entering Africa prepared to “assist” in hunting down Joseph Krony. Coincidence? Maybe, but also consider this story which was buried, never reported, and overshadowed by the Holder press conference:
Terrorists Seeking Missing Libyan Missiles, U.S. Official Says - BRUSSELS — Terrorist groups have expressed interest in obtaining some of the thousands of shoulder-launched missiles that have gone missing in Libya and the issue has become a priority for the Obama administration, a senior U.S. official said Friday.
Andrew J. Shapiro, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, said Friday the missiles “could pose a threat to civil aviation.”
“We know that terrorist groups have expressed interest in obtaining these weapons,” he said, adding that the issue issue of securing the weapons was a priority for President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“The possibility that these weapons may cross borders is an area of considerable concern,” Shapiro said. “That’s why U.S. has been working with countries bordering Libya to prevent (proliferation).”
Reports that thousands of the portable, short-range missiles were missing first surfaced at the end of September, when NATO’s top military officer, Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola, was cited as telling German lawmakers that the alliance had lost track of at least 10,000 surface-to-air missiles from Libyan military depots. The State Department had sent 15 specialists to Libya to track down the weapons and plans to increase the number to 50 soon, Shapiro said, adding the U.S. has allocated $30 million to the effort.
He said vast majority of the missing missiles were Soviet-made SA-7 Strela (Arrow) with infrared homing.
The United States and other Western nations have been trying for decades to reduce the global stock of portable missiles, fearing they could fall into the hands of terrorists. The small, easily concealable SAM-7s are considered obsolete by modern military standards but could pose a threat to civilian airliners or helicopters.
Weighing just 14 kilograms (31 pounds) and only 1.40-meters (4-feet) long, the 1960s-era missile can reach an altitude of over 3,000 meters (10,000 feet).
Thousands have been used in wars in the Middle East, Latin America, Central Asia and former Yugoslavia. Civilian aircraft as well as U.S. and allied warplanes and helicopters have been damaged or downed by the missiles in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Libya was largest non-producing country holding MANPADS,” he said, referring to the weapons by their official designation of Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems.
Now, to understand how these two stories may be connected you need to remember the previous articles we have discussed about “where” these MANPAD missiles are know to have ended up.
(AFP)- AL-QAEDA’S offshoot in North Africa has snatched surface-to-air missiles from an arsenal in Libya during the civil strife there, Chad’s President says. Idriss Deby Itno did not say how many surface-to-air missiles were stolen, but told the African weekly Jeune Afrique that he was “100 per cent sure” of his assertion. “The Islamists of al-Qaeda took advantage of the pillaging of arsenals in the rebel zone to acquire arms, including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries in Tenere,” a desert region of the Sahara that stretches from northeast Niger to western Chad, Deby said in the interview.
“This is very serious. AQIM is becoming a genuine army, the best equipped in the region,” he said. (read more)
DOJ Memo Confirms That Terrorists Have Entered The United States from Mexico. Just last year Homeland Security authorities put out an alert concerning a group of terror-tied Somalis who were attempting to enter the country through Mexico. Then last May another terror alert was issued for a known Al-Shabaab official, Mohamed Ali, who was suspected of trying to cross the border from Mexico. And in February 2010, a Virginia convert to Islam who was in contact with Al-Shabaab officials, Anthony Joseph Tracy, was charged for his role in an international smuggling ring that brought at least 200 Somalis into the U.S. on Cuban travel documents.