Allen B. West

Is this crazy, or is it just me: No boots on the ground against ISIS, but we’re deploying Marines and the 101st against a virus

Getty Images

I’m sorry to have to ask this yet again, but exactly what is the mission of our U.S. military under the Obama administration? I can tell you that it once was to deploy, fight, and win the wars and battles of the United States. Yet I am appalled when I look at the $500 million Congress and Obama appropriated to the Syrian rebels while we are “pink-slipping” our own combat leaders. And our president consistently states he won’t deploy U.S. combat troops on the battlefield against ISIS. So why are we deploying members of the 101st Airborne Division and US Marines to West Africa…to fight Ebola? How exactly do you shoot a virus?

As reported by the Washington Examiner, “The House on Thursday gave the green light for President Obama to spend an additional $700 million to combat the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa, but a Republican is blocking the money in the Senate.”

“Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said he objects to a move by the Obama administration to shift the money within the Department of Defense so that it can be spent on the overseas operation, which so far involves deploying more than 4,000 troops to the front lines in Africa’s Ebola-stricken nations. Inhofe said he is concerned the Department of Defense budget has been stretched too thin and wants more details about the mission.”

Advertisement - story continues below

Related Stories

HA! This might be the BEST Fidel Castro joke ever...Senate votes 99-0 to DEFY ObamaKARMA: Fidel gets one final surprise at his funeral

I fully concur with Sen. Inhofe that we just keep giving up millions of dollars to the Obama administration with no clear objectives. So what is the task and purpose of the West Africa deployment? What are our forces there to accomplish and what is the operational name? What are the rules of engagement and what precludes us from being drawn into mission creep — as I recall how a humanitarian mission in Somalia turned into a combat zone — for which the Clinton administration bungled in the Battle of Mogadishu, depicted in Black Hawk Down.

And how is it that without Congress in session, $700 million was appropriated without any House floor debate? Where are the voices of our representatives? Look, I know how this happened, the ol’ unanimous consent as dictated by legislative body leadership. So while all these Members of Congress are in the district, perhaps our news outlets and the constituents should be asking how they voted on this spending measure? I bet most of them will give you the “deer in the headlights” look.

“Sen. Inhofe is still working with the administration to get answers to his concerns he raised when the reprogramming request was approved two weeks ago,” an Inhofe aide told the Washington Examiner. “Sen. Inhofe understands the critical timeline with ensuring operations that have already been started can continue, and is working with the Pentagon to get these concerns addressed as soon as possible.”

In the House, meanwhile, The Examiner says, “both Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., and Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., signed off on the money transfer, which adds to the $50 million the House had already approved for the Defense Department to spend combating Ebola overseas. McKeon said he made the decision to approve the money after Defense Department officials provided details about the mission. “While I maintain concerns, particularly regarding the safety and security of our military personnel supporting this mission,” McKeon said in a statement, “the DOD has provided us with much of their force protection plan and the other information requested.” The money will cover operating expenses for six months.”

I have the utmost respect for Chairman McKeon under whom I served on the House Armed Services Committee — but this is not how our regular order is supposed to work, not the manner in which our Constitutional Republic is supposed to operate. If the president wants to deploy our military, he needs to publicly make the case before the American people. In addition, our representatives, who are the stewards of our taxpayer dollars, should allow the debate to occur before the American people on this spending measure. Something is just not right when all these deployments and appropriations are happening when our legislative branch isn’t in session in D.C. It would be nice if the American people knew what the “details” of the mission encompassed — which we do not.

Ladies and gents, this is how we end up with a government spending out-of-control by doing things under the guise of humanitarian causes — such as the excuse for Libya — and we have no understanding of operational mission and intent. Right now our president is committing our military without congressional approval and appropriating our taxpayer resources without the consent of the governed. These are not the machinations of a Republic but something completely different — something that violates our rule of law and system of governance. Our military cannot fight a virus — why do we have the United Nations?

We have a virus called Islamo-fascism manifested in a virulent strain called ISIS — which Obama refuses to contain, fight and eliminate. The question is why? John Kerry said Kobani isn’t part of our strategic goal. We could have easily contained the spread of Ebola but as usual we’re now reacting — and deploying our men and women in uniform into what is clearly an undefined and nebulous mission — another unnamed operation.

HA! This might be the BEST Fidel Castro joke ever...

HA! This might be the BEST Fidel Castro joke ever...

Senate votes 99-0 to DEFY Obama

Senate votes 99-0 to DEFY Obama