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Statement by Senator John McCain on the Decision to Send U.S. Military Foreces to Central Africa


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today issued the following statement on President Obama's decision to send U.S. military forces to central Africa:

"The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), under the sadistic leadership of Joseph Kony, has committed unspeakable atrocities for many years against innocent civilians, including women and children, in several African countries. Central Africa will be both more stable and more just if the threat posed by the LRA and its senior leaders is diminished. This is a worthy goal for U.S. policy, and I support efforts to assist our partners in central Africa in combating the LRA.

"However, we must be careful when sending our military forces into any hostile situation where they may be engaged in combat. I remember how past military deployments intended to further worthy humanitarian goals, whether it was peace-keeping operations in Lebanon or Somalia, resulted in tragedies that we never intended or expected. For this reason, it is essential for the President to consult with Congress about any deployment of our military forces into harm's way. I regret that this was not done in the case of today's announced deployment of U.S. troops to central Africa, and I urge the President to keep Congress and the American people fully informed about every aspect of the operations in which our forces will be engaged against the LRA."

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