From the Times:
U.S. to Commit Up to 3,000 Troops to Fight Ebola in Africa
WASHINGTON — Under pressure to do more to confront the Ebola outbreak sweeping across West Africa, President Obama on Tuesday is to announce an expansion of military and medical resources to combat the spread of the deadly virus, administration officials said.
The president will go beyond the 25-bed portable hospital that Pentagon officials said they would establish in Liberia, one of the three West African countries ravaged by the disease, officials said. Mr. Obama will offer help to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in the construction of as many as 17 Ebola treatment centers in the region, with about 1,700 treatment beds.
The United States will leverage the unique capabilities of the U.S. military and broader uniformed services to help bring the epidemic under control. These efforts will entail command and control, logistics expertise, training, and engineering support.
- 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 general from U.S. Army Africa, the Army component of U.S. Africa Command, will lead this effort, which will involve an estimated 3,000 U.S. forces.
- U.S. Africa Command will establish a regional intermediate staging base (ISB) to facilitate and expedite the transportation of equipment, supplies and personnel. Of the U.S. forces taking part in this response, many will be stationed at the ISB.
- Command engineers will build additional Ebola Treatment Units in affected areas, and the U.S. Government will help recruit and organize medical personnel to staff them.
- Additionally, the Command will establish a site to train up to 500 health care providers per week, enabling healthcare workers to safely provide direct medical care to patients.
Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said the plan was an important first step, “but it is clearly not enough.” The focus on Liberia, he said, is too limited, and more help should be extended to Sierra Leone and Guinea, the other countries at the center of the worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded.
“We should see all of West Africa now as one big outbreak,” Dr. Osterholm said. “It’s very clear we have to deal with all the areas with Ebola. If the U.S. is not able or not going to do it, that’s all the more reason to say the rest of the world has to do it.
AS I WAS SAYING: The WaPo editors on ISIS:
The U.S. strategy to defeat the Islamic State is underpowered
And it's not even feel-good.