Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate on United States Assistance to Chad

August 8, 1983

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

In recent weeks, the Government of Chad has requested the Governments of France and the United States to assist in its self defense against armed aggression by Libyan forces and Libyan-supported insurgents in Chad. As you have been informed, in response to these requests I have directed that various forms of material assistance be provided to the Government of Chad and other friendly governments assisting it in dealing with this Libyan aggression. In further response to the urgent requirements of these governments to counter this aggression, I have now directed the deployment of certain United States aircraft to the region to be available for the purpose of collecting and providing essential information, including surveillance data and early warning. In accordance with my desire that the Congress be kept informed on this matter, and consistent with Section 4 of the War Powers Resolution, I am hereby providing a report on the deployment and mission of these United States Armed Forces.

On August 7, 1983, two Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) E3A and eight F - 15 (Eagle) all-weather fighter aircraft with air and ground logistical support forces began to arrive in Sudan. These forces will be available to operate in close coordination with the Government of Chad and other friendly governments assisting it. The mission of the F - 15 aircraft, which are equipped for combat, is to be prepared to provide protection to the other United States aircraft, if necessary.

It is not possible at this time to predict the precise duration of this deployment of United States Armed Forces in the region. They will remain for only a limited period to meet the urgent requirements posed by the present situation. I will keep the Congress informed as to further developments with respect to this situation.

This deployment of the United States Armed Forces is being undertaken pursuant to my constitutional authority with respect to the conduct of foreign relations and as Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces. I believe that this action will support the objective of helping to preserve the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political independence of Chad.

Sincerely,

Ronald Reagan

Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Strom Thurmond, President pro tempore of the Senate.