Evolving Security Situation in the DRC

Discussion in 'Africa' started by emptystep, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. emptystep
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    emptystep VIP Member

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    Evolving Security Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Implications for U.S. National Security
    Hearings - Hearings - Armed Services Republicans

    I was thinking I would get all the posts for this thread ready and then populate the thread. As I get them ready I will add posts.

    I would greatly appreciate replies to this thread, especially from SMEs, Subject Matter Experts.

    I would like to state one of the strongest reasons for making this thread is to clear up some of the pessimism of addressing issues in Africa and especially of the issues of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
     
  2. emptystep
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    This is one of those things if I knew how much work it was going to be when I started this I probably won't of started it. On C-SPAN there was a video of the “Update on the Evolving Security Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Implications for U.S. National Security”. I started the video and found it a little interesting but was not sure. I jumped to some random place further along and happened to hear Rep. Brooks stating that this was not a security issue at all but a humanitarian one. He sited the number of planes in the Air Force, the ships in the Navy, and the number of soldiers being the lowest since many years ago. With that I determined that I would gather just enough information to bash this moron. I soon found that this committee hearing was over three hours long. Well, I had already started the effort so I dug in. This committee meeting held December 19, 2012 was the last hearing of the 112th Congress of the Armed Services Committee.

    I feel this was a good task for several reasons. One I feel that the African theater is going to play a huge role in national policy for many years to come, especial eastern Congo. Also I feel I learned much about how a House committee meeting operates. Also learning who the players are in this issue will give me greater insight whenever this or related topics are brought up. I took the advantage of being able to go beyond what was contained in the briefing.

    I believe these posts will show that there is a greater role of the US military and herein are some examples of the best of what this country has to offer to the world. I would recommend keeping in mind cost to benefit ratio.

    This message board might not be the first place one would think of for posting such a project but it is my soapbox and so here I stand. This will presented in a series of posts so as not to make a single post that goes over several pages.

    Lastly since I type this before I have put all the piece together if you never read this realize that I finally did come to my senses and found something better to do. It is possible that I will do something like this again. Partly depends on if I get any feedback on this thread. (insert smilie here) :D
     
  3. emptystep
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    emptystep VIP Member

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    (This sure would have been a whole lot easier if I would have actually had the transcript from the hearing. C-SPAN had the briefing but only in Flash. Very fortunately the video was on the U.S. Department’s website can could be downloaded in mp4 format.
    Hearings - Hearings - Armed Services Republicans

    I tried to get exact quotes of people but without a transcript I could be off a word or two that is why I did not claim exact quotes almost anywhere in this thread.)


    Opening statement by Rep. Smith, Ranking Member of committee
    Instability I the region is incredibly important to the United States. We have key partners in that area which we have worked with. In Uganda and Rwanda as we have dealt with situations in Somalia and the Horn of Africa the instability coming out of the DRC is a threat to all of that. We have seen in recent months that Africa is increasingly important for and in our national security interests. The instability there is giving rise to many al-Qaeda inspired insurgencies and that instability threatens our security.

    This is something that does matter to us in addition to the security issues there is incredible economic opportunity in this region of Africa. Economic opportunity for trade, for partnerships with U.S. Businesses but we have to get the stability there to take advantage of those opportunities.

    DOD is working with the Ugandan army in dealing with the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), one of those groups who have help destabilize the DNC.

    There is incredible economic opportunity in this area of Africa. We have to get the stability in the area to get those opportunities.
     
  4. emptystep
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    Panel Members

    Ambassador Johnnie Carson
    was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, on May 7, 2009. Prior to this he was the National Intelligence Officer for Africa at the NIC, after serving as the Senior Vice President of the National Defense University in Washington D.C. (2003-2006).

    Carson's 37-year Foreign Service career includes ambassadorships to Kenya (1999-2003), Zimbabwe (1995-1997), and Uganda (1991-1994); and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs (1997-1999). Earlier in his career he had assignments in Portugal (1982-1986), Botswana (1986-1990), Mozambique (1975-1978), and Nigeria (1969-1971). He has also served as desk officer in the Africa section at State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1971-1974); Staff Officer for the Secretary of State (1978-1979), and Staff Director for the Africa Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives (1979-1982).

    Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Carson was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania from 1965-1968. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Drake University and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the School of Oriental and Africa Studies at the University of London.

    Ambassador Carson is the recipient of several Superior Honor Awards from the Department of State and a Meritorious Service Award from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The Centers for Disease Control presented Ambassador Carson its highest award, "Champion of Prevention Award," for his leadership in directing the U.S. Government's HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Kenya.

    Derek Chollet
    is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (ISA).* He is the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Defense on international security strategy and policy issues related to the nations and international organizations of Europe (including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), the Middle East, and Africa, their governments and defense establishments.* He also has oversight for security cooperation programs, including foreign military sales, in these regions.]

    Prior to being confirmed in June 2012, Mr. Chollet served at The White House as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council Staff.

    From February 2009 to 2011, Mr. Chollet was the Principal Deputy Director of the Secretary of State s Policy Planning Staff.ᅠ From November 2008 to January 2009, he was a member of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team.

    Previously, Mr. Chollet was a Senior Fellow at The Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution, and an adjunct associate professor at Georgetown University.ᅠ During the Clinton Administration he served as Chief Speechwriter for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke, and as Special Adviser to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott.ᅠ From 2002 to 2004, Mr. Chollet was foreign policy adviser to U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.).

    Mr. Chollet has also been a Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, and a visiting scholar and adjunct professor at The George Washington University.ᅠ He assisted former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III and Warren Christopher with the research and writing of their memoirs, Ambassador Holbrooke with his book on the Dayton peace process in Bosnia, and Deputy Secretary Talbott with his book on U.S.-Russian relations during the 1990s.

    Mr. Chollet is the author, co-author or co-editor of six books on American foreign policy, including The Road to the Dayton Accords: A Study of American Statecraft (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11, coauthored with James Goldgeier (PublicAffairs, 2008), and his commentaries and reviews on U.S. foreign policy and politics have appeared in many other books and publications.


    Jendayi E. Frazer

    joined the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in February 2009 as Distinguished Public Service Professor with joint appointments in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, and in the H. John Heinz III College's School of Public Policy and Management. Her current research focuses on strengthening regional security cooperation and economic and political integration in Africa. She is the Director of Carnegie Mellon's new Center for International Politics and Innovation (CIPI) where she is particularly interested in utilizing technology and applying innovative solutions to core issues of development and governance in Africa.

    Ambassador Frazer was the leading architect of U.S.-Africa policy over the last decade, most recently serving as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from August 2005 to January 2009. She was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from January 2001 until her swearing-in as the first woman U.S. Ambassador to South Africa in June 2004. She was instrumental in the decisions to establish the $15 billion President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the Millennium Challenge Account that committed $3.2 billion to well-governed African countries by 2008. She also designed the policies for ending wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Burundi. She previously served in government from August 1998 to December 1999 as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, first at the Pentagon as a Political-Military Planner with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then as Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. Frazer received the Distinguished Service Award in January 2009, the highest award bestowed by the Secretary of State in recognition of her public service.

    Her research on security specifically focuses on strengthening civilian control of the military; mediation and conflict resolution; and establishing regional cooperative security arrangements. Frazer is a frequent guest on television and radio programs, and she is the author of several articles, book chapters, and opinion essays. Professor Frazer received her B.A. degree in Political Science (honors) and African and Afro-American Studies (distinction) in 1985, and M.A. degrees in International Policy Studies in 1985 and International Development Education in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Political Science, 1994 all from Stanford University.

    James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
    Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, and Director, The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies
    The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies
    James Jay Carafano, a leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges, is The Heritage Foundation’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies and director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies.

    Carafano is an accomplished historian and teacher as well as a prolific writer and researcher whose most recent book is “Wiki at War: Conflict in a Socially Networked World” (Texas A&M University Press, 2012), a survey of the revolutionary impact of the Internet age on national security.

    Before assuming responsibility for Heritage’s entire defense and foreign policy team in December 2012, Carafano had served as deputy director of the Davis Institute as well as director of its Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies since 2009.

    His recent research focused on developing the national security required to secure the long-term interests of the United States -- protecting the public, providing for economic growth and preserving civil liberties. (Many of his writings for Heritage appear below.)

    He writes a weekly column on national security affairs for the Washington Examiner and is editor of a book series, The Changing Face of War, which examines how emerging political, social, economic and cultural trends will affect the nature of armed conflict.

    Carafano, a 25-year Army veteran with a master’s and doctorate from Georgetown University, joined Heritage in 2003 as a senior research fellow in homeland security and missile defense. He worked with Kim R. Holmes, his predecessor as vice president and director of Davis Institute, to produce Heritage’s groundbreaking documentary film “33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age.”
    Carafano now directs Heritage's team of foreign and defense policy experts in four centers on the front lines of international affairs: the Allison Center, the Asian Studies Center, the Center for International Trade and Economics and the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. The Davis Institute also includes the Washington Roundtable for the Asia-Pacific Press (WRAPP).

    Before coming to Heritage, Carafano was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington policy institute dedicated to defense issues.

    Ben Affleck
    Apparently not a attention hog. This is the page About ECI (as well as being an actor, producer, and director)

    Founded by Ben Affleck, the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) is the first U.S. based advocacy and grant-making initiative wholly focused on working with and for the people of eastern Congo. We envision an eastern Congo vibrant with abundant opportunities for economic and social development, where a robust civil society can flourish. ECI believes that local, community-based approaches are essential to creating a sustainable and successful society in eastern Congo.

    We believe public and private partnerships, combined with advocacy that drives increased attention and public policy change, will create new opportunities for the people of eastern Congo.

    To achieve this vision we will be advocates with and on behalf of the people of eastern Congo to:

    • Increase the quantity and quality of public and private funding that supports the communities and citizens of eastern Congo, providing local organizations and leaders with the necessary resources to heal and sustain their communities*
    • Raise public awareness about the tremendous need in the region through highly targeted media and advocacy activities
    • Drive policy change that increases United States government engagement in Congo

    Founded by Ben Affleck in 2009, Eastern Congo Initiative is a 501(c)(3) organization registered in the United States. ECI investors include the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Humanity United, the Bridgeway Foundation, Cindy Hensley McCain, Google, Laurene Powell Jobs of Emerson Collective, williamsworks and others.
     
  5. emptystep
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    I put this together. I don't mean that greed should be our motive. I state that there is a significant reason for caring about these minerals other than monetary value.
    First I should mention this:
    This limits us from acquiring these minerals; tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten. Do you think anyone else is playing by these rules? I don't advocate buying from warlords. What I advocate is address the fact that warlords are using these minerals to finance their operations.

    Let's look at what these minerals are (costs ounce/pound):

    Tantalum ($50/$800)
    Tantalum metal has a number of important uses. It is used to make steels with desirable properties such as high melting point, high strength, good ductility. These find use in aircraft and missile manufacture. It is very inert and so useful in the chemical and nuclear industries to line reactors. Tantalum wires were those used first for light bulbs (now tungsten is preferred). The metal is immune to body liquids and the body tolerates the metal well. Therefore, tantalum has widespread use for surgical use. For instance, it can be used in sutures and as cranial repair plates. The metal is used in the electronics industry for capacitors.
    The oxide is used to make special glass with a high index of refraction for camera lenses.

    Tin ($0.03/$0.50)
    used to coat other metals to prevent corrosion or other chemical action (tin cans are made from tin coated steel)
    alloying agent, important alloys incldue soft solder, type metal, fusible metal, pewter, bronze, bell metal, Babbitt metal, White metal, die casting alloy, and phosphor bronze
    the chloride (SnCl2.H2O) is used as a reducing agent and as a mordant in calico printing
    tin salts sprayed onto glass are used to produce electrically conductive coatings. These have been used for panel lighting and for frost-free wind-shields
    window glass is made by floating molten glass on molten tin (float glass) to produce a flat surface (Pilkington process)
    a crystalline tin-niobium alloy is superconductive at very low temperatures. Such magnets, made of tin-niobium wire, weigh just a few pounds and produce magnetic fields that are comparable to that of a 100 ton electromagnet
    trialkyl and triaryl tin compounds are biocides - there is concern over their environmental effects. Tributyltin is the active ingredient in a type of antifouling paint used on ships.

    Gold - ($500/$8,000)
    Gold is also well known as a coinage metal (because of its scarcity, inertness, and decorative features) and is a standard for monetary systems in many countries. Apart from gold coins, gold ingots, and gold bars, gold is available in many forms including pure gold and alloys as gold flakes, foil gauzes (meshes), grain, powders, sheet, sponges, tubes, wires and even single gold crystals.
    Recently, gold catalysts as gold supported on carbon or metal oxides are becoming useful in the chemical industry. Many other gold compounds including neutral gold halides (AuBr3, etc.), aurates (K[AuBr4], etc.) gold cyanides, gold oxides, phosphine gold complexes, gold hydroxides and gold nitrates are available to industrial users. Chlorauric acid (HAuCl4) is used in photography for toning the silver image.
    Gold is a really useful metal for electronics because of its inertness and physical properties. Gold is used for electrical contacts, spring contacts, bonding wire, solder alloys, bonding wire, bumping wire, electroplating, and sputtering targets. Gold is also a useful brazing material. Gold is used for coating space satellites, as it is a good IR reflector and is inert.
    Since gold is inert and possesses useful properties when alloyed, gold is used extensively for dentistry in gold teeth, dental attachments, inserts, and solders. Similarly, gold is used increasingly for medical implants in eyes and ears, as well as many other medically useful wires, tubes, sheets, and foils. Disodium aurothiomalate is administered (intramuscular) as a treatment for arthritis. The gold isotope 198Au is used for treating cancer and other conditions.
    Gold is used in nanotechnology applications as colloids, conjugates, nanoparticle inks, nanoparticle solutions, and nanopowders.

    Tungsten ($3.00/$50)
    useful for glass-to-metal seals since the thermal expansion is about the same as borosilicate glass
    tungsten and its alloys are used extensively for filaments for electric lamps, electron and television tubes, and for metal evaporation work
    electrical contact points for car distributors
    X-ray targets
    windings and heating elements for electrical furnaces
    missile and high-temperature applications
    high-speed tool steels and many other alloys contain tungsten
    the carbide is important to the metal-working, mining, and petroleum industries
    calcium and magnesium tungstates are widely used in fluorescent lighting
    tungsten salts are used in the chemical and tanning industries
    tungsten disulphide is a dry, high-temperature lubricant, stable to 500°C
    tungsten bronzes and other tungsten compounds are used in paints
    TV tubes (electron tubes)
    X-ray targets

    Maybe before we get cut out of these resources we should consider the cost/benefit ratio to stabilizing the DRC. My wife works in the health care industry. Right now there is a shortage of zinc. Guess what. If you don't have zinc, you don't use zinc. It's that simple. Might want to go back over the bolded items on that list.

    There are simple yet very effective ways to address this issue. There are also very complicated and not very effective way of addressing this issue. This committee meeting highlighted a path to success. I will do my best in the following posts to communicate what was said.
     
  6. emptystep
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    Joseph Kabila - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    [​IMG]
    Kabila visiting the Pentagon in November 2003.

    Presidency
    Joseph Kabila rose to the Presidency on 26 January 2001 after the assassination of Laurent-Désiré Kabila, becoming the world's first head of government born in the 1970s. He remained the world's youngest head of government until Roosevelt Skerrit became Prime Minister of Dominica in January 2004.[3]

    At age 30, he was considered young and inexperienced. He subsequently attempted to end the ongoing civil war by negotiating peace agreements with rebel groups who were backed by Rwanda and Uganda, the same regional armies who brought Laurent-Désiré Kabila's rebel group to power three years before. The 2002 peace agreement signed at the Inter-Congolese Dialogue in Sun City, South Africa, which nominally ended the Second Congo War, maintained Joseph Kabila as President and head of state of the Congo. An interim administration was set up under him, including the leaders of the country's two main rebel groups as vice-presidents (two other vice-presidents were representatives of the civilian opposition and government supporters respectively).

    [Almost unanimous agreement among panel members that Kabila was the person to work with going forward. Recommended sending a presidential envoy to strengthen his position which would have a very positive affect on the region.]
     
  7. emptystep
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    In 2010 approximately 60 U.S. soldiers trained a single light infantry battalion which graduated about 750 troops. The effort has been a great success. Members of the panel gave very strong recommendations that a second battalion be trained, the 392nd.
    A very specific memorandum of understanding was signed before training started which specified who would be training, what they would be trained, and what they were allowed to do with that training.
    The number $33M listed below as the cost of the training but I have also seen $15M being what was actually spent on the training.

    Video of graduation of 391st DVIDS - Video - Operation Olympic Chase Graduation Ceremony

    Operation Olympic Chase

    [​IMG]

    (There are comments at the end of the referenced web page I did not copy but make for good reading.)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  8. emptystep
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    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cg.html
    Exports - partners:
    China 48.1%, Zambia 21.3%, US 9.5%, Belgium 5.4% (2011)
     
  9. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Congo accuses Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels...
    :eusa_eh:
    Rwanda Remains in Shadows of DRC Conflict
    September 04, 2013 — Leaders of Africa’s Great Lakes region are meeting in Kampala Thursday, seeking a solution to the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a lull in fighting between the armed forces and the M23 rebels. But, accusations that Rwanda continues to support the rebels are complicating efforts for peace.
    See also:

    Regional Heads of State to Meet in Uganda
    September 04, 2013 > Heads of state and government in the Great Lakes region of Africa plan to meet in Uganda on Thursday to discuss the security crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following renewed clashes between the national army and the M23 rebels.
     
  10. Osomir
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    It really isn't speculation at this point. The M23 rebels have long had and continue to benefit from Rwandan support under the table. The UN has confirmed it via a fact finding mission, US intel supports it, and the UN troops on the ground have recounted fairly convincing evidence of it. It also fits historical trends for Rwanda in the area.
     

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