McCain on sending troops to Africa: Be careful
October 16th, 2011
11:42 AM ET
11 years ago

McCain on sending troops to Africa: Be careful

Washington (CNN) – Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona on Sunday questioned the president’s recent order to send American troops to central Africa, saying the move could put the United States on a slippery slope.

“I worry about, with the best of intentions, that we somehow get engaged in a commitment that we can't get out of,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

This week, President Barack Obama ordered about 100 U.S. military personnel to aid in the hunt and removal of Joseph Kony, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, better known as the “LRA.”

In a letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner, Obama said the group "has 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."

The president said the troops will not use force unless acting in self-defense.

While McCain acknowledged that a humanitarian crisis is taking place in the region, he chided the Obama administration for acting without the approval of Congress and warned against getting too involved.

“I remember Somalia. I remember Lebanon,” McCain told CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “We’ve got to be very careful about how we engage. This slippery slope thing could happen there.”

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Africa • John McCain • President Obama • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. independent

    Senator, please make a trip to Northern Uganda. The on-going terrorism there contributes to the terrorism in Kenya, DRC, CAR, Sudan and Somalia. Is there a War on Terror, or not?

    October 16, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Dave

    Why is it that every time there's anything going on involving the troops, the media trots out John McCain as if his opinion actually means something?

    October 16, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Wave

    Providing SF troops are the ones being sent with the right back up then it's totally achieveable to hunt down & kill/capture the head of the LRA. For all you doubters who think it can't be done in such terrain & a slippery slope to yet another war check out how the Brits put an end to the Militia in Sierra Leone in 2000 that had been terrorising the country.

    Brits sent a few troops to provided training/advise. Had a non engagement policy .. conveniently some regular soldiers were captured & a rescue mission mounted by British SF's. In one blow invloving SBS & SAS troops with back up from the Parachute regiment they took out the militia in one blow. Mission accomplished.

    It can be done.

    October 16, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. angali

    It is indeed dangerous not for the USA but for the DRCongo. Uganda and Rwanda have tried to occupy eastern congo without success. With the USA military help, Joseph Kony may be used as an excuse to attack eastern Congo and occupy it military by Ugandan and Rwandan troops. Joseph Kony is believed to be already out of Africa... Atrocities are commited under his name for occupation purposes. watch out!

    October 16, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. allens

    i have to admit, even though i think mccain is a bitter and out of touch, i agree. we have no bussiness sending 100 troops to their death. this is another iraq, nothing more. it starts with 100 and builds from there.

    October 16, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. jmyer

    Senator McCain has lost all credibility since he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. She lost him the election and the country is stuck with her now, with the hate-filled venom that she spreads far and wide. She has learned how to make a fortune for herself and take advantage of her followers by continuing to ask them to send her more and more! He used to be a very respected Senator, but his views and opinions are worthless now because of the choice he made.

    October 16, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. bluemax77

    This guys never met a war he didn't like...

    October 16, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Prads

    Huh !! He had no problems sending our Kids into Iraq to become sitting ducks based on some faulty and misguided propoganda but has a problem in sending US troops on an ADVISORY Mission !!! Hmmm thats weird .....

    October 16, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. rhobere

    really? aren't there still about 200k troops in the middle east where YOU voted to put them in what's become one of the longest, most hopeless military endeavors in America's history? where do you even get off giving advice on military action? having been in the military obviously doesn't make you an expert on anything.

    October 16, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. SGTJ

    It's time for this fool to retire. He's senile and doesn't even know where he is anymore. I'm tired of this guy always second guessing the president just because he didn't have what it took to become President.

    October 16, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. jeff

    Do they have oil?

    October 16, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Rick Perry is done.

    John McCain voted to illegally attack Iraq that has cost taxpayers $1 trillion dollars and 4,400 lives and he is worried about sending 100 advisors to Africa. What a clown he is.

    October 16, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. Rick Perry is done.

    This is the guy who voted to illegally attack Iraq and send them back to the 18th century.

    October 16, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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