Posted on October 15, 2011 at 1:50 PM EST
By Aaron Klein
TEL AVIV — An influential “crisis management organization” that boasts billionaire George Soros as a member of its executive board recently recommended the U.S. deploy a special advisory military team to Uganda to help with operations and run an intelligence platform.
The president-emeritus of that organization, the International Crisis Group, is the principal author of Responsibility to Protect, the military doctrine used by Obama to justify the U.S.-led NATO campaign in Libya.
Soros’ own Open Society Institute is one of only three nongovernmental funders of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect, a doctrine that has been cited many times by activists urging intervention in Uganda.
Authors and advisers of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, including a center founded and led by Samantha Power, the National Security Council special adviser to Obama on human rights, also helped to found the International Criminal Court.
Several of the doctrine’s main founders also sit on boards with Soros, who is a major proponent of the doctrine.
Soros himself maintains close ties to oil interests in Uganda. His organizations have been the leading efforts purportedly to facilitate more transparency in Uganda’s oil industry, which is being tightly controlled by the country’s leadership.
U.S. troops to Uganda
Obama on Friday notified House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, that he plans to send about 100 military personnel, mostly Special Operations Forces, to central Africa. The first troops reportedly arrived in Uganda on Wednesday.
The U.S. mission will be to advise forces seeking to kill or capture Joseph Kony, the leader of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. Kony is accused of major human rights atrocities. He is on the U.S. terrorist list and is wanted by the International Criminal Court.
In a letter on Friday, Obama announced the initial team of U.S. military personnel “with appropriate combat equipment” deployed to Uganda on Wednesday. Other forces deploying include “a second combat-equipped team and associated headquarters, communications and logistics personnel.”
“Our forces will provide information, advice and assistance to select partner nation forces,” he said.
Both conservatives and liberals have raised questions about whether military involvement in Uganda advances U.S. interests.
Writing in The Atlantic yesterday, Max Fisher noted the Obama administration last year approved special forces bases and operations across the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and Central Asia.
“But those operations, large and small, target terrorist groups and rogue states that threaten the U.S. — something the Lord’s Resistance Army could not possibly do,” he wrote.
“It’s difficult to find a U.S. interest at stake in the Lord’s Resistance Army’s campaign of violence,” continued Fisher. “It’s possible that there’s some immediate U.S. interest at stake we can’t obviously see.”
Bill Roggio, the managing editor of The Long War Journal, referred to the Obama administration’s stated rationale for sending troops “puzzling,” claiming the LRA does not present a national security threat to the U.S. — “despite what President Obama said.”
Tea Party-backed presidential candidate Michele Bachmann also questioned the wisdom of Obama’s move to send U.S. troops to Uganda.
“When it comes to sending our brave men and women into foreign nations we have to first demonstrate a vital American national interest before we send our troops in,” she said at a campaign stop yesterday in Iowa.
Soros group: Send military advisors to Uganda
In April 2010 Soros’ International Crisis Group, or ICG, released a report sent to the White House and key lawmakers advising the U.S. military to run special operations in Uganda to seek Kony’s capture.
Read the report: “To the U.S. government: Deploy a team to the theatre of operations to run an intelligence platform that centralizes all operational information from the Ugandan and other armies, as well as the UN and civilian networks, and provides analysis to the Ugandans to better target military operations.”
Since 2008 the U.S. has been providing financial aid in the form of military equipment to Uganda and the other regional countries to fight Kony’s LRA, but Obama’s new deployment escalates the direct U.S. involvement.
Soros sits in the ICG’s executive board along with Samuel Berger, Bill Clinton’s former national security advisor; George J. Mitchell, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader who served as a Mideast envoy to both Obama and President Bush; and Javier Solana, a socialist activist who is NATO’s former Secretary-General as well as the former Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain.
Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is the ICG’s senior advisor.
The ICG’s president-emeritus is Gareth Evans, who, together with activist Ramesh Thakur, is the original founder of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, with the duo even coining the term “responsibility to protect.”
Both Evans and Thakur serve as advisory board members of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect, the main group pushing the doctrine.
As WND first exposed, Soros is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect.
Soros’ Open Society is one of only three non-governmental funders of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Government sponsors include Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda and the U.K.
Soros’ hand in Ugandan oil industry
Oil exploration began in Uganda’s northwestern Lake Albert basin nearly a decade ago, with initial strikes being made in 2006.
Uganda’s Energy Ministry estimates the country has over 2 billion barrels of oil, with some estimates going as high as 6 billion barrels. Production is set to begin in 2015, delayed from 2013 in part because the country has not put in place a regulatory framework for the oil industry.
A 2008 National Oil and Gas Policy, proposed with aid from a Soros-funded group, was supposed to be a general road map for the handling and use of the oil. However, the polcy’s recommendations have been largely ignored, with critics accusing Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni of corruption and of tightening his grip on the African country’s emerging oil sector.
Soros himself has been closely tied to oil and other interests in Uganda.
In 2008, the Soros-funded Revenue Watch Institute brought together stakeholders from Uganda and other East African countries to discuss critical governance issues, including the formation of what became Uganda’s National Oil and Gas Policy.
Also in 2008, the Africa Institute for Energy Governance, a grantee of the Soros-funded Revenue Watch, helped established the Publish What You Pay Coalition of Uganda, or PWYP, which was purportedly launched to coordinate and streamline the efforts of the government in promoting transparency and accountability in the oil sector.
Also, a steering committee was formed for PWYP Uganda to develop an agenda for implementing the oil advocacy initiatives and a constitution to guide PWYP’s oil work.
PWYP has since 2006 hosted a number of training workshops in Uganda purportedly to promote contract transparency in Uganda’s oil sector.
PWYP is directly funded by Soros’ Open Society as well as the Soros-funded Revenue Watch Institute. PWYP international is actually hosted by the Open Society Foundation in London.
The billionaire’s Open Society Institute, meanwhile, runs numerous offices in Uganda. It maintains a country manager in Uganda, as well as the Open Society Initiative for East Africa, which supports work in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The Open Society Institute runs a Ugandan Youth Action Fund, which states its mission is to “identify, inspire, and support small groups of dedicated young people who can mobilize and influence large numbers of their peers to promote open society ideals.”
Samantha Power, Arafat deputy
Meanwhile, a closer look at the Soros-funded Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect is telling. Board members of the group include former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Ireland President Mary Robinson and South African activist Desmond Tutu. Robinson and Tutu have recently made solidarity visits to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as members of a group called The Elders, which includes former President Jimmy Carter.