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Thread: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

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    Default American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    American Boots Hit the Ground in Somalia After Drone Attacks

    Adam Clark Estes Jul 02, 2011 9,510 Views Comments (47)



    Somalia is now the sixth country over which the United States is flying attack drones.

    Last month, the same Special Operations Command unit currently operating in Yemen carried out an attack on two leaders of the Somali militant group al-Shabab in a June 23 mission.

    The Washington Post reported the attack on Wednesday, and on Friday, Somalia's defense minister says that American military forces touched down to collect the bodies of the insurgents. Al-Shabab has carried out attacks on the Somali government, and while the government is calling on more American drone missions, they say they were not aware of the first drone attack. "But we are not complaining about that. Absolutely not. We welcome it," Defense Minister Mohamoud Haji Faqi told the Associated Press. "We understand the U.S.'s need to quickly act on its intelligence on the ground."

    Some are questioning the apparently hasty mission, however. Joshua Foust, a fellow at the American Security Project and a contributor to The Atlantic, warns that the United States may not accomplish much without a broader strategic framework in Somalia:
    There is a very poor understanding of Somalia's politics, which almost by design results in poorly crafted policy. It's why libertarians continue to insist Somalia is some sort of anarchic paradise, rather than the chaotic, violent hellhole it is: they just don't know how or why the country functions the way it does. […]

    What we do know, based on past experience both within Somalia and with U.S. foreign policy in a general sense, is that without a strategic framework in place to help guide, inspire, and constrain policy, we really shouldn't expect anything different from the last 20 years of anarchic violence there. Because we won't be working toward anything else.
    Eugene Robinson, a columnist at The Washington Post points out that drone warfare in general has not been publicly discussed in the United States. And the particular nature of "these antiseptic missile attacks" is raising concerns around the world. In addition practical and legal questions, the ethical quandary could lead to more animosity against Americans, Robinson says:
    Most troubling of all, perhaps, are the moral and philosophical questions. This is a program not of war but of assassination. Clearly, someone like Ayman al-Zawahiri--formerly Osama bin Laden’s second-in-command, now the leader of al-Qaeda--is a legitimate target. But what about others such as the Somali “militants” who may wish to do us harm but have not actually done so? Are we certain that they have the capability of mounting some kind of attack? Absent any overt act, is there a point at which antipathy toward the United States, even hatred, becomes a capital offense?
    Of course, the most lasting memory of United States military involvement in Somalia is the botched "Black Hawk Down" mission in 1993, when 18 American soldiers were killed in the Somali capital Mogadishu. That lasting memory will likely turn the spotlight towards Somalia should the U.S. government continue to engage there.


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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Somalia After Drone Attacks

    GOOD. Take out the friggin pirates now.
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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Somalia After Drone Attacks

    Yeah, that whole debacle is a real sore spot with how Bill Clinton abandoned the Delta and Ranger boys over there.

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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Somalia After Drone Attacks

    I had a two hour long telephone conversation with Lt. General (ret) Jerry Boykin a couple years ago re a piece I was writing. His sentiments regarding Somalia were very pointed. C-130 Spectres were supposed to be in the air covering the op. Tanks and artillery were also factored into the equation. All were scrubbed due to political postering and a fear that someone was going to think we were involved in something other than a humanitarian effort. The outcome of said poor decisions are now part of history. Question is... have the politicians learned anything from Operation Gothic Serpent?

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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    Companion Threads:



    Obama sending troops to central Africa to aid fight against rebels

    President Obama has deployed troops to central Africa to aid in the fight against the Lord's Resistance Army. In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, Obama says 12 troops with "appropriate combat equipment" were deployed on October 12 and approximately 100 in total will be deployed including a second combat team and headquarters, communications and logistics personnel. The forces will provide information and advise and assist "select partner nation forces," Obama explains. The troops will not fight except in self-defense. The full letter is after the jump.

    TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
    TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    AND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE
    October 14, 2011
    Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President)

    For more than two decades, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women, and children in central Africa. The LRA 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. Since 2008, the United States has supported regional military efforts to pursue the LRA and protect local communities. Even with some limited U.S. assistance, however, regional military efforts have thus far been unsuccessful in removing LRA leader Joseph Kony or his top commanders from the battlefield. In the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, Public Law 111-172, enacted May 24, 2010, the Congress also expressed support for increased, comprehensive U.S. efforts to help mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the LRA to civilians and regional stability.

    In furtherance of the Congress's stated policy, I have authorized a small number of combat-equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield. I believe 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.

    On October 12, the initial team of U.S. military personnel with appropriate combat equipment deployed to Uganda. During the next month, additional forces will deploy, including a second combat-equipped team and associated headquarters, communications, and logistics personnel. The total number of U.S. military personnel deploying for this mission is approximately 100. These forces will act as advisors to partner forces that have the goal of removing from the battlefield Joseph Kony and other senior leadership of the LRA. Our forces will provide information, advice, and assistance to select partner nation forces. Subject to the approval of each respective host nation, elements of these U.S. forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The support provided by U.S. forces will enhance regional efforts against the LRA. However, 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. All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of U.S. military personnel during their deployment.

    I have directed this deployment, which is in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive. I am making this 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 action.
    Sincerely,

    BARACK OBAMA
    # # #

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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    Companion Threads:



    Gingrich slams Obama over national security

    12 Comments and 18 Reactions|ShareTweet|Email|Print|


    Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich outlines his 2012 campaign platform on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Associated Press)

    By David Eldridge
    -
    The Washington Times
    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Sunday blasted the Obama administration’s decision to send 100 American troops to serve as advisers in Central Africa and the White House’s handling of other national security issues.

    On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Mr. Gingrich said when it comes to national security, the administration doesn’t “have any kind of larger strategy.”

    Asked about charges that Iran supported an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Mr. Gingrich said the U.S. goal in Iran “should be the replacement of the Iranian dictatorship.”

    Mr. Gingrich said President Obama’s Iran policy has been misguided.

    The Republican former congressman from Georgia, who is rising in recent polls after a strong performance at last week’s GOP presidential debate, also said the White House has mishandled the deployment of about 100 elite American troops to Central Africa. They are intended to serve as advisers in the fight against the “Lord's Resistance Army,” a rebel group accused of a two-decade spree of murder and rape across several countries.
    Mr. Gingrich said the deployment “doesn’t make any sense.”

    “I don’t think you send special ops troops with instructions not to kill anybody,” Mr. Gingrich said. “The United States should intervene in a way that works, if it should a [secret] operation, don’t say anything about it.

    Our guys show up, our technology shows up, the other side loses, we quietly go off again. If it is going to be overt operation, say we will now do what it takes to make sure we achieve our objectives. Period. That should be the rule of engagement.

    “Some kind of nonsensical ‘we really don’t want to shoot you but we’re sending armed troops’ and we know it’s a dangerous area, but really I would like not to do anything. It is just stupid. I mean, it doesn’t make any sense.”
    Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, appearing later on the same program, also questioned the decision to deploy troops without consulting Congress.
    “I’m very disappointed, again, that the administration has not consulted with members of Congress before taking such action. I’ve been under four presidents, and this is the least communicative with Congress of any administration that I’ve ever seen,” Mr. McCain said.

    Mr. Gingrich, as has been his custom throughout his pursuit of the GOP nomination, was complimentary of his rivals in the still-crowded Republican field.

    Of his fellow Georgian, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, he said: “He is a great, wonderful human story. He is a very enthusiastic and very competent person. And I think there’s a certain attractiveness to Herman that a lot of people find very genuine. He’s a good friend of mine, and I’m delighted for him that he’s having this kind of run. I wouldn’t want it to go to the nomination, but I’m delighted that he’s having this kind of run.”

    And Texas Gov. Rick Perry may be down, Mr. Gingrich said, but he’s not out.

    “No, nobody’s done. At this stage last time, [2008 GOP nominee John] McCain was in third place. At this stage in 1991, Bill Clinton was an asterisk. This is a wide open process,” he said.

    Mr. Gingrich said Republicans are still looking for an alternative to GOP front-runner Mitt Romney.

    Mitt Romney has a huge problem. He’s a very likable person. He works very hard. He’s very smart. And he is a Massachusetts moderate Republican. It is the Nelson Rockefeller problem. I mean, there is a natural ceiling. And if you go back and look at the race last time, he ran into a natural ceiling,” Mr. Gingrich said.

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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    So we only need ten Americans to destroy them... I knew we were better than Obama said we were.....
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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    What US manhunt for LRA leaders reveals about Obama's war strategy

    Obama is sending 100 Special Operations Forces to central Africa to help track down leaders of the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army), a brutal guerrilla group. Surgical strikes at enemy leaders are emerging as the preferred US strategy.

    By Anna Mulrine, Staff writer / October 15, 2011


    Girls displaced from their villages by the Lord's Resistance Army in this file photo.


    Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

    As 100 US Special Operations Forces begin deploying to Africa to help local troops pursue the brutal leader of a murderous rebel group, a clearer picture is emerging of America’s preferred warfare strategy in a time of fiscal restraint: fewer troops, more drones, and the aggressive targeting of enemy leaders by special operations forces.

    Related stories



    In a letter sent to Congress on Friday, President Obama made clear that the specific goal of US forces is to help in “the removal from the battlefield” of Joseph Kony and other senior leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a guerrilla group that has killed thousands of civilians, routinely raped women, and abducted hundreds of children.

    This hunting of Mr. Kony and his cronies will involve US intelligence support, according to senior defense officials, probably in the form of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, such as the Predator.

    US troops will deploy to Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the new nation of South Sudan.

    Pentagon officials emphasize that US special operators will not fight – unless they are forced to defend themselves.

    “We stress that these US troops will be working to advise and assist regional efforts, not acting independently,” says a senior defense official.
    Even so, US Special Forces will bring with them “appropriate combat equipment,” Mr. Obama noted in his letter. What’s more, the mandate for the Special Forces on this mission – ”advising forces that are actively pursuing the LRA” – is relatively aggressive, analysts note.

    Outlining in his letter a case for more robust US intervention, Obama made a similar argument – specifically, that past efforts to eliminate Kony have not been robust enough. Since 2008, the United States has provided military assistance to the region to the tune of some $33 million.

    Even when coupled with “some limited US assistance,” however, “regional military efforts have thus far been unsuccessful in removing” Kony “or his top commanders from the battlefield,” Obama argued.

    Special Operations Forces have been in great demand, particularly in the past few months. The Uganda operation is reported to have been in the works for some time, but that Special Forces didn’t have troops available until recently.

    This mission comes on the heels of the US drone strike that killed American-born Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, and the US Navy SEAL Team 6 attack on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, and on countless first- and second-tier insurgent leaders throughout the border regions of Afghanistan.

    At the same time, the US is showing more willingness to intervene in countries where the threat of mass killing of innocents looms large. Defense officials foreshadowed a plan like this latest for Uganda in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review – a document that highlights US strategic intent – which made “preventing human suffering due to mass atrocities” a Pentagon priority.

    These are unlikely to become troop-intensive operations. In Libya, the US has provided only a handful of ground forces to assist the State Department, while US airstrikes have pummeled pro-Qaddafi forces and drones have beamed back intelligence, all in the name of protecting civilians.

    The US military will likely need to become more accustomed to sending smaller groups of troops into areas where they may encounter combat – reinforced by UAV drones for intelligence and possibly armed overwatch – as budget pressures intensify, analysts say.

    That’s because counterinsurgency, which was the US strategy for protecting the population in Iraq and early in Afghanistan, is a troop-heavy and extremely expensive endeavor. Now, US strategy in Afghanistan and elsewhere is shifting to a combination of counterterrorism – taking out the bad guys with surgical Special Operations and drone strikes – and counterinsurgency where possible in the larger population centers, as US troop levels permit.

    Indeed, Obama made it clear, too, that the Special Forces will be aiding local troops in protecting civilians.

    For the continent of Africa, where the specter of the 1993 “Blackhawk Down” US military tragedy in Somalia looms large, 100 Special Forces troops are “obviously significant – it’s not everyday that the US commits troops to the ground in Africa,” says Richard Downie, deputy director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Africa Program.

    Even so, it is not likely be an easy operation. An estimated 300 to 400 LRA forces remain in the region, and they are dispersed in ungoverned territory, Mr. Downie notes. The US has sent troops to aid the fight against the LRA before: In late 2008 the Pentagon provided some 20 advisers to help coordinate a strategy for attacking the LRA. “In that effort the US was a little more hands off – they provided communications, logistics,” he says.

    “It was a complete fiasco,” Downie adds. The LRA's top leadership managed to escape and later took their revenge, directing the killing thousands of civilians in the north of Congo in the following weeks.

    As a result, the LRA dispersed into three to five small groups, Downie says, spreading out over “a very wide area – it’s going to be a matter of tracking these guys down in very tough jungle terrain.”

    Senior defense officials argue that asking US special operators to train local forces is in many respects a return to their original mandate, which has expanded in the wake of stepped-up strikes on insurgent leaders. The question, say analysts, is how Special Forces – worn down after a decade of wars on two fronts – will respond to the new demand.

    It helps, analysts add, that Uganda and the newly created nation of South Sudan welcome the US forces – part of the importance the White House has placed on seeking clear partnerships before deciding to act.

    Obama,, for his part, argued that the intervention against the LRA is a matter of national security. Critics aren’t so sure about that. But the White House has a congressional mandate: Lawmakers in May 2010 authorized the president to come up with a regional strategy for dealing with the LRA, after nongovernmental organizations and evangelical Christian groups pleaded for US intervention there.

    “That’s why we have these 100 troops sent out there,” says Downie. “This is the first substantial follow-up we’ve had since then.”

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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    US Troops Now In 4 African Countries To Fight LRA
    February, 22, 2012

    U.S. troops helping in the fight against a brutal rebel group called the Lord's Resistance Army are now deployed in four Central African countries, the top U.S. special operations commander for Africa said Wednesday.

    The U.S. announced in October it was sending about 100 U.S. troops - mostly special operations forces - to Central Africa to advise in the fight against the LRA and its leader Joseph Kony, a bush fighter wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

    Rear Adm. Brian L. Losey, the top U.S. special operations commander for Africa, said the U.S. troops are now stationed in bases in Uganda, Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic.

    "We've already seen a decrease in the lethality of LRA activities, which we think is attributable in part to the pressure we and our partners are applying," Losey said in a telephone briefing to journalists.

    Losey said counter-LRA actions will increase in frequency and effectiveness in coming months.

    The LRA began its attacks in Uganda in the 1980s, when Kony sought to overthrow the government. Since being pushed out of Uganda several years ago, the militia has terrorized villages in Central Africa.

    A top State Department official, Karl Wycoff, said that Kony has shown the ability to mobilize combatants and militant leaders to carry out "horrible atrocities" for the LRA, which he called "some kind of cult," given that the group has no clear agenda. He said the U.S. effort was not just aimed at Kony but at all the LRA leaders.

    However, Col. Felix Kulayigye, the spokesman for Uganda's military, said the hunt for Kony was an important aspect of the anti-LRA effort.

    "Kony is the LRA and the LRA is Kony," he said. "Other than Kony the only other person who had the capacity to sustain the LRA was (Vincent) Otti, who is gone. You get Kony and you have the LRA done."

    Otti, Kony's former deputy, has been presumed dead since the failure of peace talks mediated by South Sudan ended in 2008. Ugandan army officials say Kony ordered his death, fearing he was about to defect.

    The LRA's tactics have been widely condemned as vicious. The U.S. troops are helping to fight a group that has slaughtered thousands of civilians and routinely kidnaps children to be child soldiers and sex slaves.

    The anti-LRA group Resolve in a report released Wednesday urged the U.S. to encourage Uganda to dedicate more troops and helicopters to their counter-LRA operations. The group also urged the U.S. to fund more transport helicopters and improved communications equipment for Ugandan troops, and to increase intelligence gathering by expanding the use of aerial surveillance.

    Losey said there are no drone aircraft currently being used by U.S. troops involved in the counter-LRA fight. U.S. forces are working on improving communications in the region and how to integrate intelligence.

    Many of the U.S. forces are stationed in Uganda. Others are based in Obo, Central African Republic; Dungu, Congo; and in Nzara, South Sudan, Losey said. Each of those locations had established bases where troops from partner countries have been based.

    The LRA operates in an area the size of California, Losey said.

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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    Pardon me, Michael, which "so-called" conservatives are you talking about?

    Have you forgotten the Commander-in-Chief is a Socialist?
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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    Again, I ask, and I expect an answer.

    You continually are accusing me of not being clear, or painting things with a broad brush....

    Now... again, which "so-called" conservatives are you talking about?
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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by michael2 View Post
    Google 'conservative' and 'subsidarity', or look it up in 'conservapedia' for example, i'm not going to do your work for you.

    Because it's a simple common-sense idea; letting people closest to the problem and the understanding of it solve it themselves. The opposite occurs for example when the Federal Government forces States to do certain things exceeding it's own mandate.

    What's so unconservative or hard about that idea?
    Michael....

    You made an assertion. This is not about me, it's about YOU and your remarks about "so-called" conservatives. I pointed out we're talking about the current administration and I asked you who were these conservatives.

    I have no intention of googling anything, I'm not in this for "work". I'm in this for FACTS. If you expect people to believe your remarks then BACK THEM UP OR DON'T MAKE THEM!
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    Michael....

    In Somali, there is NO government. There are terrorists and pirates preying on the coast off Africa as far south as South Africa, and as far East as the Indian Ocean.

    American ships traverse that area all the time. Cargo vessels.

    you're advocating ignoring that situation. The US Navy patrols there because of this.

    I agree in letting folks do it themselves. If they can't, they ask for help. It is human nature to help others. It's against any moral code to just let people die because you "don't want to get involved". And it's the highest, most honorable thing a person can do to give their life to save others.

    military members know this. They understand it. The US Military is a volunteer organization.

    what part of all this don't YOU get?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    /shrug

    We don't agree. You won't change my mind, I'm a bit closer to this in my daily job than I suspect you are.
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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    No, closer to an understanding of "National Security" situations. Closer to seeing things that the media doesn't put out there for you and others. Closer to the actual reasoning for foreign policies. Closer to the reasoning for why our military is sitting in the hell holes they are in now.
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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by michael2 View Post
    Well then i'm sure the fate of the country and the world is in wonderful hands and like a good subject I can go back to sleep, in the knowledge that my betters, true 'experts', are on the job.

    Because you given such a wonderful demonstration of such 'reasoning' of why we are and should be the new International Police Force/Nanny State.
    Once again, Michael, you just can't seem to stop talking without being insulting, insinuating things that aren't true, or putting words in someone else's mouth.

    I don't believe we should be an international police force. This is called "Obfuscation" on your part. I never said that.

    I Never EVER said anything about the US being a Nanny State - except that we ARE and I don't like it at all.

    I never said you were wrong about those things. I said you're wrong about isolationism, "getting out" of the Middle East when CLEARLY that is the wrong thing to do, I said you were wrong about not assisting Israel when that too, is CLEARLY the wrong thing to do.

    So please don't do that again.
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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    I never SAID "Intervene everywhere". That is you, once again trying to put words in my mouth.

    Where did I say that or the other things you've stated I've said?

    I'm not playing your game any more Michael. I'm calling foul, and trolling again.

    Let me give you a HINT since you can't seem to read a whole post before you make a giant leap to incorrect conclusions.

    In the VERY first post I made in this thread after Vector posted the original news article, I said, "GOOD. Take out the friggin pirates now. "

    In my second post I stated, "So we only need ten Americans to destroy them... I knew we were better than Obama said we were..... ", which was specifically directed at Obama saying how we weren't a good nation, we weren't outstanding, and we're no better than, say, Somalia.

    Next you start in with the "Globalist Bullshit" and cry foul against "so-called Conservatives" and I questioned your remark. Instead of answering - which you never really did, you merely pointed to some definitions of things that really weren't a part of the conversation, told me you weren't going to "do YOUR work for you" and started being insulting about it in this thread....

    So let me explain to you something. I think there are several on the site here who can vouch for this too. Our military, Michael is, for your information the "Enforcement Arm of US Policy". Period. That is precisely what they are. They have been for a very, very long time.

    As to your other questions, read the thread, I've commented on NOTHING else in Africa. I've commented ONLY on pirates and attempted to defend myself against your unwarranted attacks.

    So I suggest you stop trolling.
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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterle Matteo View Post
    Where's Vector?
    Busy with life? Looking up important news? On vacation?

    took a break? I don't know.
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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterle Matteo View Post
    Where's Vector?
    He's been in touch and, told me he's traveling for work and often unable to get on where he is. He'll be back shortly.

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    Default Re: American Boots Hit the Ground in Africa after Drone Attacks

    LMAO! I haven't been "backed" into a corner Michael.

    You CAN NOT and WILL not give ANY facts to anything you say.

    NOTHING.

    You are a troll and you will always be one. Look at the evidence.

    Every time I ASK you something you avoid answering the question, you obfuscate, you hide behind trying to change the subject.

    I stand by what I have said.

    Either start giving FACTS, and evidence to back up your "opinions" (because that's ALL you've ever done is given opinion) and you can't seem to base things on actual truth.

    So just shut up and don't bother me any more. I told you I'm not playing your game any more.
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