WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s plan to send 100 military troops to Uganda risks miring the United States in another protracted war, a top Republican lawmaker warned on Sunday.
Senator John McCain said that with almost 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan and the drawdown from Iraq still not complete, Obama’s plan to send troops to act as military advisers for Ugandan government forces fighting the rebel-led Lord’s Resistance Army was ill-advised.
“I worry (that) with the best of intentions we’ll somehow get engaged in a commitment that we can’t get out of. That’s happened before in our history,” he told CNN television.
McCain, an American hero of the Vietnam war, agreed that the Lord’s Resistance Army has been “guilty of unspeakable behavior and the human rights organizations all over the world want this to stop.”
But the high-ranking senator, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate and a leading voice in Congress on military matters, demanded an “explanation” as to why lawmakers’ input was not sought before US forces were committed.
“I’m very disappointed… that the administration has not consulted with members of Congress before taking such action,” McCain told CNN.
“I’ve been under four presidents, and this is the least communicative with Congress of any administration that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Maybe it has something to do with the polarization of politics, but it is unfortunate.”
Obama on Friday announced that the US force would act as advisers to partner Ugandan forces trying to remove from the battlefield Joseph Kony and other senior leaders of the LRA, which has been accused of gross human rights abuses. He said the American troops would not lead the fighting themselves.
The mostly special ops units are to deploy in Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo, subject to approval of regional governments, Obama said in a message to Congress.
LRA rebels are accused of terrorizing, murdering, raping and kidnapping thousands of people in the four nations, and tens of thousands of people died in their 20-year war with security forces in northern Uganda.
‘Devastating, illegal, and unethical’: Trump denounced for imposing sweeping attack on abortion rights nationwide
Warning of "severe" consequences for reproductive healthcare, critics condemn the Title X gag rule as "blatantly coercive and a violation of medical ethics and patients' rights."
After President Donald Trump's administration announced Monday that it would immediately begin enforcing a ban on abortion referrals at clinics that receive federal tax dollars, outraged reproductive rights advocates warned about the impact on healthcare nationwide and vowed to keep fighting against what they call the domestic gag rule.
Not one Republican votes to allow debate on resolution condemning Trump’s racist attacks
Not a single House Republican on Tuesday voted to proceed to debate on a Democratic resolution condemning President Donald Trump's racist attacks on progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib.
The resolution (pdf)—which is on track to pass by Tuesday evening—"strongly condemns President Donald Trump's racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color."
The procedural motion to begin debate passed by a vote of 233-190.
GOP congressman demands Pelosi’s House floor statement be ‘taken down’ after she denounces Trump’s racist tweets
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Tuesday took to the floor of Congress to read a statement denouncing President Donald Trump's recent statements telling four congresswomen of color to go back to their home country.
"The comments are racist," Pelosi said. "How shameful to hear him continue to defend the offensive words. Words we have heard him repeat not only about our members but about countless others. Our caucus will continue to forcefully respond on these attacks which reflect a fundamental disrespect for the beautiful diversity of America. There’s no place anywhere for the president’s words which are not only divisive but dangerous and have legitimatized an increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color."