Can anyone name this unlikely supporter of Obama’s newest military adventure (against the LRA in central Africa)? He’s a fairly prominent Republican politician, but not one you’d probably think would support such a move. Here is what he said:
About a year ago Congress authorized action against the Lord’s Resistance Army. President Obama signed that legislation. To my understanding this is the worst terrorist group on the planet over the last few decades. They have been responsible for tens of thousands of deaths. Rapes. They are incredibly bad actors. They are a finite group. This really does in my opinion qualify as what you could lable [sic] as a humanitarian effort or the United States stepping in to stop a genocide. Congress authorized it, the president said yes, and I would’ve as president.
It’s go in, get the job done period, and get out.
I was opposed to what we’re doing in Libya and remain opposed to that. I know that ostensibly was about preventing genocide, but I get the sense we’ve injected ourselves in a civil war in Libya. It’s a country. It’s a government. Lord’s Resistance Army isn’t representative of a government or any government. The only example I can think of for me where this kind of action is warranted is this very action. That isn’t to say that Darfur would not be in the same category, but I am not well versed in that.
One could ask why this politician isn’t calling for even more of a U.S. commitment and broader ROE’s if he really feels/thinks this way.* If you think something is genocide, don’t you have to do more than send a 100 troops who aren’t authorized to actively engage the enemy (except in self-defense)?
Here is something a little more sensible, from Cato’s Gene Healy:
The LRA is surely a horrible bunch, but, equally surely, they’re no threat to American national security. The president’s decision — in the midst of two ongoing wars — to involve U.S. soldiers in another fight where America has no possible stake, suggests a disturbingly incontinent approach to military intervention.
* As for those ROE’s, here is what the President noted “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.”
UPDATE: Gary Johnson. Say it ain’t so!