Before the LRA Disarmament bill was passed in 2010, no U.S. President had publicly said the words Joseph Kony or the LRA. Look how far we’ve come. Yesterday, March 25th 2014, President Barack Obama released a letter to Congress about the deployment of additional forces to central Africa, in compliance with the War Powers Act.
a Letter from the President:
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
As I initially reported on October 14, 2011, and most recently reported on December 13, 2013, the United States is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to help the governments and people of central Africa in their efforts to stop the atrocities committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army. In furtherance of that strategy, 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.
The total number of U.S. military personnel deployed to the central Africa region for this mission is now approximately 280. 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.
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.
This 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. I have approved this deployment pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.
I am making this supplemental report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this matter. A classified annex to this report provides additional detail.