Kenya at the Crossroads: Terrorist Warning Issued. US Troops Next Door in Uganda – Think About It

Posted on October 23, 2011

Lush, beautiful Kenya, former colonial African outpost of the British Empire, is best known for its magnificent Masai people,

its wildlife and scenery

and the home of  Danish author Karen Blixen (played by Meryl Streep in Out of Africa) who “had a farm[now a museum] in the Ngong Hills.”

Today Kenya issued a warning to all tourists to avoid areas they are known to gather.  This follows an incursion by Kenyan forces into Somalia in pursuit of terrorists. It was a warning echoed by President Barack Obama who said it was the next area of terrorism activity.

(Reuters) – Kenya said Somalia’s al Shabaab militants were on the run after it deployed more troops and struck rebel targets by air to secure its border from rebels Nairobi accuses of kidnapping foreigners on its soil.

Are US troops again in Somalia you may well ask (scene of “Black Hawk Down.”)?  Not quite.  As in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US has outsourced the training of forces against the rebels to a private company.

(NY TIMES)  Somalia— Richard Rouget,  a gun for hire over two decades of bloody African conflict, is the unlikely face of the American campaign against militants in Somalia.

A husky former French Army officer, Mr. Rouget, 51, commanded a group of foreign fighters during Ivory Coast’s civil war in 2003, was convicted by a South African court of selling his military services and did a stint in the presidential guard of the Comoros Islands, an archipelago plagued by political tumult and coup attempts.

Now Mr. Rouget works for Bancroft Global Development, an American private security company that the State Department has indirectly financed to train African troops who have fought a pitched urban battle in the ruins of this city against the Shabab, the Somali militant group allied with Al Qaeda.

But we are on the ground in Africa:

ABC News’ Jake Tapper and Luis Martinez report:

Two days ago President Obama authorized the deployment to Uganda of approximately 100 combat-equipped U.S. forces to help regional forces “remove from the battlefield” – meaning capture or kill – Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and senior leaders of the LRA.

The forces will deploy beginning with a small group and grow over the next  month to 100. They will ultimately go to Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the permission of those countries.

The president made this announcement in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Friday afternoon, saying that “deploying these U.S. Armed Forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa.”

He said that “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.”

The president said that for more than two decades the LRA has been responsible for having “murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women, and children in central Africa” and continues to “commit atrocities across the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan that have a disproportionate impact on regional security.”

Kenyan forces are, therefore, trying to keep Somali rebels in check  to the east; the US has troops on the western border.

Where else in the world will President Obama send our forces?  He seems to move them as pawns on a chess board.  It’s obvious the gift for this upcoming Christmas and other holiday season giving  will be a good map of the world.

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