US military will not be directly involved in Haiti relief effort

UN chief urges nations to consider deploying forces to help Haiti After his inauguration, President Barack Obama issued a statement encouraging other countries to send up to 400 troops to help Haiti, which was…

US military will not be directly involved in Haiti relief effort

UN chief urges nations to consider deploying forces to help Haiti

After his inauguration, President Barack Obama issued a statement encouraging other countries to send up to 400 troops to help Haiti, which was hit by a deadly earthquake.

Haiti’s government has not responded, but it is believed that the US would be the first to respond.

The earthquake ripped apart the capital of Port-au-Prince and killed more than 300 people. Hundreds of thousands of Haitians have since fled to the US and elsewhere, while thousands more are reported to remain homeless.

The US is working to deploy a group of 500 special forces soldiers to Port-au-Prince, along with a number of other countries, including Canada, the UK and Italy.

“The United States stands ready to assist the government and people of Haiti, but this assistance cannot come at the expense of human rights, rule of law, or democratic processes,” Obama said in a statement.

“The United States urges our citizens to support these efforts, and our partners to join with us in these efforts, and for other countries to take this necessary step to alleviate the suffering in this nation.”

But experts say the Pentagon will not send special forces to join the US-led effort, as it could cause “dire consequences” for US credibility in the region.

“We are not going to send any of our soldiers to Haiti in the sense of a direct military role in the relief effort,” said Major General James L. Jones, US Forces-Europe commander. He said the United States will rely on the military and diplomatic efforts of other countries or regional organizations to assist, rather than sending soldiers.

“The Haitian government and its armed forces have been and will continue to be the primary security forces in that country, and the US military will not be directly involved in the relief effort,” General Jones said.

He said it was too soon to suggest anything of the sort.

“I think what we’re recommending to our military commanders and to our political leaders and the appropriate people is to ensure that there’s a humanitarian relief effort that can be coordinated,” he said. “The military will monitor that, but they’re not going to be directly participating.

“I don’t know that we will necessarily have to send a force to participate in that humanitarian effort.”

The Pentagon says the US military will do

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