Published: 29 January, 2013, 22:58
Ron Paul said US assistance to the French intervention in Mali is a sign that the Obama administration is creeping into another war – especially since questions about the extent of US involvement remain largely unanswered.
The recently retired congressman outlined his fears in his weekly column, “Texas Straight Talk”. Paul said that while the US has only announced its transport and intelligence assistance to the French initiative, “this is clearly developing into another war”.
“President Obama last week began his second term by promising that ‘a decade of war is now ending,’” Paul wrote.“As he spoke, the US military was rapidly working its way into another war, this time in the impoverished African country of Mali.”
Paul believes that unanswered questions about possible US involvement on African soil further indicates that Obama has been more active in the conflict than he admits, and that Congress has been kept out of the loop.
“Media questions as to whether the US has Special Operations forces, drones, or CIA paramilitary units active in Mali are unanswered by the Administration,” Paul said. “Congress has asked few questions and demanded few answers from the president. As usual, it was not even consulted. But where does the president get the authority to become a co-combatant in French operations in Mali, even if US troops are not yet overtly involved in the attack?”
Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that US assistance in Mali is a good example of future military assistance it might provide to its allies and that the US would not bring its own troops into the conflict. The US first became involved by airlifting French soldiers and equipment to Mali with its C-17 transport planes, but gradually expanded its roles in Africa.
In response to a French request, the US on Saturday agreed to fly tankers to refuel French jet fighters and bombers who are located primarily in the conflict zone in northern Mali. An unnamed US defense official told The Guardian that the KC-135 tankers would be involved in the operation for months, or as long as needed.
FULL STORY: http://rt.com/usa/news/paul-us-mali-french-011/