(From Pamela Gellar) Those of you who have friends and family in the military are well aware of the whispers about Obama and his systematic dismantling of the military. So many of the best and brightest have been sidelined or moved out and have been replaced with yes men, cowards and traitorin the mold of the Commander-in-chief.
The emasculation of the military is most certainly part of Obama’s legacy, as are his lethal rules of engagement (lethal for our boys and girls, not the enemy).
Now this. Obama is sending our finest, most elite soldiers to “fight ebola” in countries where the disease is rampant. He’s intentionally purging these warriors for least resistance when the inevitable happens. He won’t restrict air flights to these disease-ridden countries, but he’ll send these warriors to West Africa.
Our founding fathers designed our system of governance so that our military had no say. Civilian control of the military is a doctrine in military and political science that places ultimate responsibility for a country’s strategic decision-making in the hands of the civilian political leadership, rather than professional military officers. One author, paraphrasing Samuel P. Huntington’s writings in The Soldier and the State, has summarized the civilian control ideal as “the proper subordination of a competent, professional military to the ends of policy as determined by civilian authority.” Our founding fathers never saw the likes of Obama in the White House.
Decorated combat troops sent to fight Ebola
Obama dispatching assault experts from 101st Airborne Division, By Aaron Klein, WND.com (thanks to Christian)
TEL AVIV – President Obama’s military response to the Ebola outbreak in Africa incorporates a particularly large contingent of combat troops, raising questions about the scope and duration of the mission.
In October, roughly 1,400 U.S. military personnel are expected to deploy to West Africa to bolster the international community’s efforts to contain the deadly virus. The U.S. expects to deploy at least 3,000 forces throughout the fall, with new estimates of more than 4,000 forces.
The initial mission, according to the U.S. military, focuses on building treatment facilities and training health-care workers.
Yet, nearly the entire initial military deployment consists of some of the nation’s top combat-trained troops.
Defense Department spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters last week the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, an advanced air assault unit based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, will provide about 700 of the initial 1,400 troops, reported the Army Times. Another 700 will be drawn from “combat engineers culled from Army units across the force.”
The Army Times reported about 300 members of the 101st Airborne will come from the division’s headquarters and will serve as the Joint Force Command for the mission.
Lt. Col. Brian DeSantis, spokesman for the 101st Airborne Division, told reporters his unit’s mission, in support of the USAID-led effort, is mostly to build treatment facilities and train health-care workers.
DeSantis said the treatment centers will identify Ebola patients and care for them. The health-care workers, he said, “will be the actual ones to treat Ebola patients, to staff those treatment units.”
DeSantis stressed the soldiers specialize in building combat hospitals and in aviation, logistics, transportation and engineering. The troops’ risk of Ebola exposure is low, he insisted, since they will not be providing direct treatment to patients.
The 101st Airborne soldiers received training last week on how to avoid contracting Ebola.
One of the most highly decorated fighting units in the U.S. Army, the 101st is a light-infantry division trained for air assault operations.
Since World War I, the 101st has taken part in historic military campaigns, including leading the D-Day night drop campaign prior to American airborne landings in Normandy. The force played a central role in the Battle of the Bulge, the wars in Vietnam and Persian Gulf, the first and second Iraq wars and the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
The 101st did take more of a humanitarian role in Kosovo, where it led peacekeeping operations in 2000 and helped to secure free elections in the country.
Besides the 101st, other forces being sent to Africa include units from the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Carson, Colorado, and a contingent from the 1st Armored Division Aviation Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas.
Reuters reported over the weekend deployments to Africa during the Ebola outbreak may top 4,000, with the Pentagon acknowledging the size and duration of the mission could evolve as the virus spreads.
‘How exactly do you shoot a virus?’
Allen West, a former congressman and a former Army officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, noted on his website that Obama has stated he won’t deploy U.S. combat troops against ISIS.
“So why are we deploying members of the 101st Airborne Division and U.S. Marines to West Africa … to fight Ebola?” he asked.
“How exactly do you shoot a virus?”
West said he concurs with Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe’s concern that the Department of Defense budget has been stretched too thin, and he wants more details about the mission and its purpose.
“What are the rules of engagement and what precludes us from being drawn into mission creep — as I recall how a humanitarian mission in Somalia turned into a combat zone — for which the Clinton administration bungled in the Battle of Mogadishu, depicted in ‘Black Hawk Down.’”
Elaine Donnelly, president of the nonpartisan Center for Military Readiness, told WND that while troops have many different missions, questions remain about the Obama administration’s overall plans and goals.
“I question the administration’s priorities in confronting the Ebola crisis. If the troops are part of an all-out effort to wipe out the disease in West Africa and deter it from arriving here, the first priority should be to deny entry to the United States to anyone with passports from the countries at highest risk, unless they are known to be free of the virus,” she said.
“Since that precaution has not been taken, it is reasonable to ask questions about the extent of force protection measures for our troops. Are there contingency plans, for example, if one or more individuals in a given unit begin to show symptoms? The U.S. military’s mission in building infrastructure should be as brief as possible. When will the mission be done and what will international agencies and local governments do to prevent more spreading of the outbreak?”
She noted members of Congress appear to be in agreement on spending money on the effort.
But she added, “The administration has a long way to go in reassuring military families and the nation as a whole.”
Military’s Ebola mission: Edge out China in Africa?
WND reported Sunday the Ebola outbreak is apparently offering the perfect opportunity to achieve a long-time Western goal of building up a U.S. military presence in Africa in the face of growing Chinese investment and influence on the continent.
The stated goal of the forces, according to a White House release, is to establish a Joint Force Command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to “provide regional command and control support … and facilitate coordination with U.S. government and international relief efforts.”
Obama’s plan to fight Ebola in West Africa calls for $500 million to be added to this year’s Overseas Contingency Operations for “humanitarian assistance” in West Africa. Some estimates say the actual cost will trump $750 million.
While the personnel sent to Africa will undoubtedly aid in containing the Ebola outbreak, there may be ulterior motives for their deployment.
The World Bank documented recently that economic growth in resource-rich Sub-Saharan Africa rose to 4.7 percent in 2013 and is estimated to burst to 5.2 percent by the end of 2014. The rise has been aided by international investment in natural resources and infrastructure, the World Bank noted.
The Washington Post in August reported that in recent years China “has arguably become the most formidable of the foreign players in Africa,” surpassing in 2009 the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner.
Indeed, Chinese trade with African countries was nearly double that of the U.S. in 2013, with China doing $200 billion in business that year compared to about $110 billion between Africa and the U.S.
In August, former President Bill Clinton noted the possibilities for U.S. growth in Africa during a panel discussion with the chief executives of Walmart, General Electric, Dow, the Nigeria-based industrial conglomerate Dangote Group and the South African investment holding company Shanduka Group.
“It strikes me that we’ve only barely scratched the surface of what we could and should be doing there and that we’re missing the boat,” Clinton said, according to the Washington Post. “We should understand this is a massive opportunity for American business.”
The Obama administration has sought to expand U.S. influence in Africa nations, with the president hosting an Africa summit and traveling to the continent last year.
Also, as the Post noted, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker “more than doubled the size of her department’s presence in Africa,” bringing Commerce’s African offices to a total of eight countries.
Still, that number pales in comparison to China’s commercial offices in 54 African nations.
AFRICOM to expand U.S. influence?
AFRICOM’s official mission statement reads the military arm, “in concert with interagency and international partners, builds defense capabilities, responds to crisis, and deters and defeats transnational threats in order to advance U.S. national interests and promote regional security, stability, and prosperity.”
The Guardian’s Dan Glazebrook in 2012 noted that Vice Admiral Robert Moeller declared at a 2008 conference that AFRICOM may have another agenda.
Moeller stated at an AFRICOM conference held at Fort McNair on Feb. 18, 2008, the mission was also aimed at preserving “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market.”
Still, Moeller wrote AFRICOM’s main mission was to coordinate with African nations and he rejected claims the mission was to expand U.S. dominance.
“No, the U.S. military is not trying to take over Africa,” Moeller wrote.
Some claim the ouster of Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, de facto leader of the pan-African movement, was intended to rid the region of a major obstacle to expanded Western influence.
Gadhafi was the single biggest African investor in pan-African growth and helped push the 2001 establishment of the African Union, which consists of 54 African states. The late Libyan strongman also wanted to establish an African currency and passport.
The 2011 NATO-assisted revolution in Libya was commanded in part from AFRICOM.
Glazebrook claimed in his 2012 Guardian piece that “in taking out Muammar Gaddafi, Africom had actually eliminated the project’s fiercest adversary.”
Continued Glazebrook: “Gaddafi’s Libya had an estimated $150bn worth of investment in Africa – often in social infrastructure and development projects, and this largesse bought him many friends, particularly in the smaller nations. As long as Gaddafi retained this level of influence in Africa, Africom was going to founder.”
Ebola ushers in AFRICOM?
Until the Ebola outbreak, AFRICOM had only approximately 2,000 assigned personnel, with the command’s headquarters located in Stuttgart, Germany.
Obama’s Ebola directive now sends more than that number, 3,000, to a base in Africa, specifically establishing a new Joint Force Command in Monrovia, Liberia, working with international partners.
A long-term goal of AFRICOM was always to establish a major base in Africa.
The expansion of AFRICOM’s missions were also seen earlier in 2012 when the U.S. sent 100 Special Forces purportedly to hunt for infamous war criminal James Kony.
Interestingly, a recent survey of attitudes of African nations showed that only a crisis like Ebola could help persuade skeptical countries on the continent to accept an increased AFRICOM presence.
In 2010, pollster and political scientist A. Carl LeVan analyzed more than 500 African news reports, finding, according to his stated conclusion, that “support for AFRICOM corresponded with greater aid dependence, and that countries sustaining high levels of growth with less foreign aid were more critical of AFRICOM.”
LeVan stressed the heavy influence of the African news media and its role in supporting or opposing an increased AFRICOM presence.
Last month, however, the All Africa news agency reported African countries were cracking down on media outlets amid the Ebola outbreak, leading to complaints from news outlets and local civil-rights activists.