02252015Headline:

Obama Sends 3000 Troops to Liberia

The United States  government is sending thousands of military troops to the west African nation of  Liberia as part of the Obama administration’s Ebola virus-response strategy, the  White House said late Monday night.

‘U.S. Africa  Command will set up a Joint Force Command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to  provide regional command and control support to U.S. military activities and  facilitate coordination with U.S. government and international relief efforts,’  a statement from the White House press office said.

‘A general from  U.S. Army Africa, the Army component of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), will lead  this effort, which will involve an estimated 3,000 U.S. forces.’

Liberia is the  hardest-hit of the four west African nations that have confirmed Ebola cases,  accounting for more than one-half of the fatalities. The others are Sierra  Leone, Guinea and, to a lesser extent, Nigeria.

Some of what  America’s armed personnel will do in Liberia is unclear. The White House said  ‘many’ of them will be stationed at an ‘intermediate staging base’ where they  will supervise the movement of medical staff, supplies and heavy  equipment. 

And the Defense  Department is concerned, one Pentagon official told MailOnline, about the public  perceptions aroused when American G.I.s patrol ground zero in a disease outbreak  that could plunge three or more countries into chaos if it worsens  significantly.

Combat soldiers  and Marines ‘will be on hand and ready for anything,’ said the official, who has  knowledge of some, but not all, of the Ebola-related planning. ‘But hopefully it  will be all logistics and hospital-building.’

‘The president has  ordered us to help, and we’re eager to do it,’ he said. ‘Now it looks like  we’re going to be the lead dog, and that’s bound to make a lot of people  nervous. It’s understandable.’

 

 

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