Obama again commits soldiers in no-win situation – this time, South Sudan

According to a report from Paul McLeary in DefenseNews.com, without much fanfare – or explanation to the American people — President Obama has again committed US forces by using his War Powers Resolution authority.

In the letter to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro tempore of the Senate on December 19, President Obama said that the soldiers, deployed on December 18, are equipped for combat, but that this force was deployed for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property. This force will remain in South Sudan until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed.

The soldiers deployed are part of the US Army¹s East Africa Response Force to the capital of Juba to help evacuate American citizens and ensure the safety of embassy personnel there. The forty-five combat-ready soldiers are part of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division based in Ft Riley, Kansas, but who are on a year-long deployment in the Army’s Regionally Aligned Forces program, which marries brigade combat teams with combatant commands around the world to thicken their ranks.

Once again, President Obama fails to realize the enemy has a vote, and any deployment into a hostile zone is not simply an “overseas contingency operation,” but rather a combat operation.

Case in point: DefenseNews.com reports “US aircraft flown into South Sudan to help with those evacuation efforts on Saturday came under fire, wounding four US servicemen, officials said, as fighting in the country escalated.”

This is sadly reminiscent of the Obama administration’s ill-advised venture into Libya which resulted in the destabilization of that region, empowering Islamists, and later resulting in the deaths of an American Ambassador and three others, including two former US Navy SEALS.

Tensions are rising throughout the region as neighboring countries Kenya and Uganda attempt to evacuate foreign nationals as well. South Sudan faces a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and a fast-growing rebel force over control of the oil-rich nation. If the rebel forces succeed in controlling the oil fields, they could effectively hold the government to ransom.

After 20 years of civil war that left nearly two million dead, South Sudan is now struggling with ethnic rivalries. Although this latest unrest appeared to start as a result of a political disagreement, the violence is coalescing along ethnic lines, pitting Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, against his rival Riek Machar, a Nuer.

Defense News reports that:

President Obama has warned that hopes for South Sudan are now “at risk,” and Secretary of State Kerry said Friday he was sending Donald Booth, his special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, to the region to encourage talks between the warring factions.

My assessment is that this is another episode of the Obama administration believing it can use the US military as a “do good” force, part and parcel of the doctrinaire of Susan Rice and Samantha Power.

By entering this internal tribal conflagration, the US must declare support for one side, and given that they fired upon our aircraft, it seems the rebel forces have answered that question. Casting the US Military in some nebulous peacekeeping role will lead to mission creep and memories of Somalia under the Clinton administration — that certainly did not end well.

At a time when we are decimating our US military, and eroding the trust and confidence the military has with the Obama administration and Congress, this venture is unwarranted, unless there are clear objectives for victory.

I am reminded of a very prescient book written by Samuel Huntington in 1993, titled The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Huntington warned that after the bipolar world of US-USSR hegemonic dominance, the world would revert to age-old fault lines of separation based on religious, racial, and ethnic divisions – and here we are.

This is the reality of the 21st century battlefield, and America finds itself ill prepared to effectively conduct the full spectrum of operations along the front lines. We are in desperate need of a serious strategic vision that links our foreign policy with our national security. The Obama track record in this area is not good. You cannot end a conflict by simply “quitting” as we have done in Iraq and will soon do in Afghanistan. The enemy doesn’t give up the battle because you don’t feel like fighting. Yes, I am very concerned about the direction this endeavor will take.

Leave a Reply

86 Comments on "Obama again commits soldiers in no-win situation – this time, South Sudan"

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Corey Kurisu
Guest
Once again a Democrat, the party of “peace”, is sending troops and spending money we don’t have on a no win scenario. All we will get from this is a monstrous bill, dead soldiers and more hatred towards America. Time to stop playing police and let them sort it out on their own. I haven’t seen what the ROE for this is, but being that Obama is running the op, it can’t be good. We should’ve learned with Clinton, if you send troops just tell them what you want done and let the commander in the field determine the rules,… Read more »
Paul Deckelman
Guest

Pentagon weasel lawyers and bureaucrats are probably even now drafting restrictive rules of engagement whose ultimate purpose is NOT the protection of our troops in the field, but rather to protect the reputations and careers of higher up military brass and civilian policy-makers by giving them plausible deniability – let some unfortunate incident generating bad press happen and they can trot out their ROE, claim that whatever soldier X or field commander Y did was against the rules and then make a scapegoat out of the poor bastard and hang him out to dry to quiet the critics.

northofmontana
Guest

This is what should be done..Tell the Sudan leaders on both sides,if ONE single American gets harmed wile we try to extract them,American forces will hunt down and kill every leader on both sides of this conflict..
Then do it.

D S Dunlap
Guest

Frankly, I think Obama is trying to further destabilize the area so the Mohammedans can sweep back into the country.

Raul
Guest

The majority of the religious population of South Sudan is Christian.

Pam
Guest

Then they are the prime targets for Muslims. There mission is to kill Christians and make the world Muslim.

Raul
Guest

That is utter nonsense.

crq
Guest

WHEN are we gonna shut this crazy person down???? nObama has done more harm to this country than any previous person in that office/orifice. It’s time to take him to task, get him in front of a judge, whether it’s for Bechazi, Holder’s F&F (et al), Sibelius’s fiasco, IRS craziness…need I say more?
This country is spending $ we don’t have like the proverbial sailor on leave looking for a (temporary) girlfriend. Isn’t it time to shut this idiot down, for good?????

Daryl Watson
Guest

Make that all previous presidents combines. Woodrow Wilson and FDR come close but Obama is by far the worst.

Andrew Shapiro
Guest

Where were you when madmen were ruling your country? Where were you when your country invaded two sovereign nations? Where were you when the Bush administration set up Guantanamo Bay, enacted the PATRIOT Act and started mass surveillance?

Paul Deckelman
Guest
False moral equivalence. Bush was RIGHT to use Guantanamo to contain dangerous terrorist suspects and Obama was WRONG to foolishly declare (as he pandered to the CodePink crowd) that he would close it down and then attempted to bring those being held there to America to be tried with FULL constitutional rights that we extend to our citizens but have NEVER in our history afforded enemy combatants.. A number of these have now been unfortunately released and have gone back into the field for further terrorism against our forces. And Bush did not use the Patriot Act and other government… Read more »
Ann49
Guest

Where were you on 911?

Andrew Shapiro
Guest

Home.

Juan Noyola Jr
Guest

stay there

Raul
Guest

Are you people capable of reading basic English? The 45 American servicemen are there to help American citizens escape the huge South Sudanese mess and to guard American property, aka the American Embassy in Juba! How hard is it to understand this?

Pam
Guest

Then grab and go. End of problem.

Brian J
Guest

Raul is totally correct. If Obama did nothing and our people at our embassy died due to violence, you would be screaming Bengazi again.

Daryl Watson
Guest

Then he needs to send in the marines, that are suppose to be guarding our embassy, withdraw all us personnel and let the Sudanese sort out their own problems. There are no strategic US interests here. Let the UN send their peace keepers there.

StarDustAlley
Guest

I bet those being tortured and killed that night, were screaming too.

StarDustAlley
Guest

This will not end with only 45 servicemen there. They were fired upon, the mission aborted, at one time. This kind of thing never ends well.

Raul
Guest

They’ve already been fired upon, that’s not the question here, let alone is it the aim of this “article” to report that. The aim here is to, yet again, portray an action by the current American administration as something it is not.

Pam
Guest

I agree, the current administration is nothing.

BAS
Guest
I believe Condoleezza Rice had it right in “Promoting the National Interest.” The context in which the article was written was much different than the international landscape we are seeing today, but its foundational principles remain. US Foreign Policy, in order to be most effective, must focus on key priorities. These priorities are: 1) To ensure America’s military can deter war, project power, and fight in defense of its interests if deterrence fails. 2) To promote economic growth and political openness by extending free trade and a stable international monetary system to all committed to these principles, including in the… Read more »
Mary Garrison
Guest

Keep our people here ………….they cannot help who choose to fight among themselves ,,,,maybe they will kill off all of them….I know that is not suppose to be what christians are to say,but ,enough is enough

mrdonthompson
Guest

Should be 4,500 troops and necessary support. Go in, grab all U.S. citizens, all embassy documentation and necessary paperwork, pull out. Leave the Sudanese to sort out their own politics. Would not want any other country sending troops to U.S. to tell us how to conduct our political process. Just sayin’. Much Love, God Bless.

crosspatch
Guest
People need to understand that this is not a battle between two political factions. This is a war between two tribes for control of the country. This is another example of a country where tribal identity is greater than national identity and the two most populous tribes in the country are fighting to see who will come out top dog and rule the nation. There IS a way to handle situations like this, in fact, there are a couple of ways. One way is to have each tribal area a more autonomous region with a central government that is more… Read more »
DanMR
Guest

Reminds me of a country which once used the same ideals and created a bunch of Brownshirts.

Vin Corolla
Guest

Well let’s hope to hell that if these guys need backup, he won’t leave them hangin.!!!

John Burney Sr
Guest

If they need help will he send his Brown Shirts???

Average Joe
Guest

Not our affair

purplewings
Guest

I think we’ve been involved in so many wars in the past few years that our Military needs a break. We’ve lost so many of our troops in these violent places. We can’t stop them from behaving as they do. We need to stay away and let them do what they choose. Otherwise we’ll have more dead Americans and they will do as they choose anyway. Just like in Afghanistan.

dghealy
Guest

Heaven help our children

tullmargaret
Guest

lase god help us

Simon Watson
Guest

Good article, West. However you made a critical error, the rebels that shot at the aircraft believed it was a Ugandan aircraft coming to support the regime. It was a mistake.

Pam
Guest

Nice excuse, wasn’t aware they had such a fleet of Aircraft that advanced.

Simon Watson
Guest

To me it would be obvious that they were American aircraft, but maybe there are people that aren’t as educated as I am.

Phoebe
Guest
This HAS to STOP! Stop the wars. Stop the TPP. Stop the NDAA. Shut down the Federal Reserve The United States of America has been captured by corruption at the highest levels. Our military has been dismantled and corrupted. Everyone is expendable and considered terrorists when they are discharged. Vets are committing suicide at at least 22 per day. Thousands are homeless and denied benefits and treatment at VA hospitals. If they make it into the hospital, they may be Ill treated and basically left to die. The average American has bbeen brainwashed by TV, cell phones, tablets, NFL, etc.… Read more »
DanMR
Guest

Best year end description I have heard or read. There are way too many people here who think the Lord’s final battle ,Armeggeddon, will be fought with the USA as a major player. They better realize it will be in the Middle East. You know, those countries which supply most of the world’s oil supply and the one’s who hate Israel and the very same one’s who are sworn to destroy it. If the like’s of Obama remain in power, we will be a mere satellite of China.

Phoebe
Guest

Thank you, I stopped watchig TV in February and have spent hours everyday reading, listening to alternative radio, listening to podcasts, and watching You Tube. I knew nothing of the following before this year:
Rothschild family
Creation of the Federal Reserve
New World Order
Trilateral Commission
Banksters et al (J.P. Morgan, Rockefellers, Astor, Carnegie)
NDAA
DARPA
MK Ultra
Operation Paperclip
TPP
NAFTA
FEMA camps
Gang Stalking
Chemtrails
GMO crops
Not, that I am an expert in any of this, just enough to make me nauseous and terrified of what will happen to our children and grandchildren.

bubba2001
Guest

Time to go gun shopping.

Chad
Guest

already have..

DustyFae
Guest

Bring the draft back and those in the government would not be so quick to go to war and lose their kids as they are about losing the average American kids… l think my kids are just as important to me as theirs are to them…

Phoebe
Guest

Those government big wigs know how to keep their children out of the draft.

DanMR
Guest

Vietnam War.

mercurydeb
Guest

The president should cease and desist sending our military into areas where they are not invited, unless there is some national interest there for us. He is placating the Islamists of the Sudan who are too afraid to fight themselves. God save the women and children of the Sudan, for it is they who will suffer for it, along with our troops, who will know that they’re fighting for a losing cause, just as they did in Viet Nam.

DanMR
Guest

What you wrote about the women suffering is so true viewing how they feel about them.

j_moody_jr
Guest

Circumnavigating Congress once again, he (President Obama) is engaging
US in another conflict in the name of a foreign national security
measure. We all know how this will evolve. Sometimes we do much more
damage than good when we help others, especially when uninvited and
without a true mission statement.

bubba2001
Guest

Yes but I don ‘t want to “help” foreign countries.

bubba2001
Guest

Boy, we need to REALLY reduce the powers of the president!
I really don’t want *My Govt.* interfering in foreign countries like this!

Pam
Guest

Isn’t this the first time the power has been so grossly abused, but it has uncovered a flaw that needs to be corrected.

John
Guest

if Obama want to wage war in southern Sudan, Then send his family members to fight, or better yet have the Muslim Brotherhood go for him. He has given them millions of tax payer dollars . Now have them earn what they have been paid. Hi HO ,HI HO Obama you have to go.

bubba2001
Guest

Just airdrop in two tons of cocaine, 500,000 bottles of Jim Beam, 500,000 machine guns and 250 million rounds of ammo and let nature take it’s course.

dpierson1216
Guest

bubba2001, that costs way to much. Drop a damn bomb on them. Get it over with without any of our people getting killed.

DanMR
Guest

I doubt if they have few problems figuring out what to do with the contraband. Except they will have to watch out for their leaders claiming it for themselves.

Joejoesing
Guest

Or just 50 pairs of the limited edition Jordans.

lost in the wilderness
Guest
lost in the wilderness

I think Obama views the American people as his enemy. What is his problem Have you ever heard of this in previous administrations He is gonna get the dope through one way or another… .

joby
Guest

i think obama is a dick

paul singh
Guest

Well this time he actually has sand to draw a line in. But the excuse will be the wind blows too hard so the line will have to be redrawn…over and over and over.

paul singh
Guest

Kerry must be afraid to go here so he sends one of his underlings so that hopefully they won’t h ave to send in help if they’re attacked. Oh wait I forgot…they’ll be on their own. Duck and cover.

Anti-Parole Dude
Guest

Once again the college professor is trying to demoralize the armed services using one of his fave tactics: putting our troops in the middle of a civil war! Once again the troops are in a country with little strategic import and with no way to defend themselves due to the bizarre ‘rules of engagement’.. This is nothing more then his ongoing campaign of Financial Jijad… bankrupting America any way possible.. bit by bit by bit.

Pam
Guest

Historically this is how Muslims destroy and take over a country. What better way than to attack the economy. What did they target in America, the World Trade Center, the symbol of our economy.

Jeffrey Jayne
Guest

Would you prefer another Benghazi?

John OMalia
Guest

The conflict has been going on for 20 years. We can hardly say, “they snuck up on us at the Embassy”. Marines are usually used for this purpose. No where did Obama say the insertion was to protect the Embassy, in fact, what is the objective?

Vrahnos
Guest

Well damn.The fool is at it again by doing this.He should have pulled every one out of there so what does he do?Send some troop in to be fodder for his people in a countrys civel war.How stupid is Obama anyway?

Boetica
Guest

Quite.

Canadohta Geocachers
Guest

Our Military has already gone thru more than enough already. Our Military IS NOT THE WORLD’S POLICE DEPARTMENT.

Every civil war or skirmish we do not need to be involved with PERIOD!! I understand & rrespect that 45 man team may go in to help secure the U.S. Embassy & to assist in getting the Americans out. That should be it, nothing much, nothing less. But for some unknown reason the Resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave will find another excuse to keep these guys there.

DanMR
Guest

Notice how he jumps at the chance to help his Muslim chronies.

Raul
Guest

Notice how the majority of the religious population of South Sudan is Christian, with Muslims being a minority (approx. 7%) of the population. Notice how this is an ethnic issue and not a religious one. Notice how you, just like Canadohta, were completely incapable of reading this “article” and thinking.

Boetica
Guest

Bashir is mentioned in this article. He is another Arab muslim bent on slaughtering Africans, whether Christian, Animist, or muslim.

opsman
Guest

Why are our military forces continually being sent into these area’s? There is no strategic value here, only furthering Obama’s ties to the Muslim community.

country girl
Guest

the only upside to the current rash of actions by the POTUS is that if (when) the order is given to take action against the citizens of this great country…. that the order will not be followed

Marisa Martin
Guest

As concerned as I am for the situation and I’ve followed this for years, Obama has perfected the knack of supporting the bad guys almost every time. Could this be different?

Boetica
Guest

Not likely.

Ben Nowell
Guest

I think this is an attempt to avoid another embassy slaughter, and 45 people are not that many people. Considering the thousands they are up against, 45 people is enough to hold maybe a city block. Aside from being terribly slanted toward a popular opinion, but at least the thesis is genuine (see last two paragraphs).
However, there is way to much emotional appeal in this work to be (ultimately) worth believing.

Terry Parkhurst
Guest
The same momentum towards slaughter of civilians, based on ethnicity, as occurred in Rwanda has taken place. Should America completely ignore that? The only way to go into South Sudan is with overwhelming force; otherwise, we run the risk of losing all our people, Marines and civilians both. Moreover, intelligence would probably reveal that Omar al-Bashir, the East African Hitler, has some hand in this matter, due to the oil in South Sudan. People seem to be forgetting that this president did head up a mission, as Commander-in-Chief, that killed our most grievous enemy, Osama bin Laden. Perhaps the problem… Read more »
Anti-Parole Dude
Guest

“The same momentum towards slaughter of civilians, based on ethnicity, as occurred in Rwanda has taken place”

This quote sounds like your talking about the widespread and fast-growing game called “Knockout”. But I’m sure that blood sport is well under your radar. I suggest we arrest the thugs and murderers here in the USA first – a great majority of which just happen to be OUT ON PAROLE.

Terry Parkhurst
Guest

This is the second reply to what I wrote which has come to me; and the first since I replied with “unsubscribe” yesterday.
The first reply was not something I agreed with, but the person who made it was serious and thoughtful. This second reply is just absurdly juvenile and hardly worthy of Mr. West’s blog.
Please “unsubscribe” me from anymore replies. T
Thank you,
— Terry Parkhurst, Seattle WA

Subject: Re: New comment posted on Obama again commits soldiers in no-win situation – this time, South Sudan

John OMalia
Guest

If you don’t want to reply, don’t.

Boetica
Guest

You seem to be forgetting the dereliction of duty of our current Commander-in-Chief in Libya. Your failure to hold Mr. Obama accountable is disturbing.

Terry Parkhurst
Guest

I made a reply today and that’s it. I can’t spare anymore time arguing with people who refused to break their anonymity and go off topic. — Terry Parkhurst, Seattle WA

Subject: Re: New comment posted on Obama again commits soldiers in no-win situation – this time, South Sudan

Terry Parkhurst
Guest

Try as it might, Congress seemingly never found any “dereliction of duty” on the part of the president. Admittedly, that might have been because certain information was withheld. The situation in South Sudan is something which is happening now, and needs to be addressed. Your desire to displace that, from the forefront of action, in an attempt to discredit the president, is much more disturbing. Are women and children, living in refugee camps unworthy of our attention?

John OMalia
Guest

What is the US interest here? If our civilians are at risk then he needs to react, if not, not. Do we have to honor a treaty with the Sudan? If not, then again, where is the interest? We can’t go around the world saving everyone. As CIC he can only deploy us combat forces if we are under attack or there is at least a US interest and it has to be something other than the oil fields in South Sudan..

Mike Reed
Guest

Matthew 24:6 – You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See to it that you are not alarmed. These things must take place, but the end hasn’t come yet.

MotherBatherick
Guest

LTC West; We need you as our Guardian of the Republic.

Adel
Guest

Bravo. Our soldiers are not the police for the world. America can’t support the natives who are killing Christians and they can’t support the other Muslims either.

Lowell
Guest

Is this the same “East Africa Response Force” that was unavailable for the Benghazi fiasco?