Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Wartime President

Apparently, the President, not content to be involved in conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, announced that he is dispatching about 100 special forces units to Central Africa to assist with stamping out the rebellion of a group known as the Lord's Resistance Army. Why? MSNBC reports there is speculation that this is political payback.
Why is the U.S. sending its troops to finish off a fractured band of bush fighters in the middle of Africa? Political payback for the quiet sacrifices of Uganda's troops in Somalia could be one reason, experts say.
. . .
But capturing LRA leader Joseph Kony — a ruthless and brutal thug — remains the highest priority for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, a 25-year-leader who has committed thousands of troops to the African Union force in Somalia to fight militants from al-Shabab, a group with ties from al-Qaida.
I haven't had time to digest all the back story on this particular adventure, so it might be a good move in the grand scheme of things. But it sure does reinforce the O = W narrative, or as Dean put it O > W.

Since this effort is strategically linked to the efforts against al Qaeda, we have to ask, at what point do we wind down the GWOT? While al Qaeda is still operating, they seem to be a spent force politically. Perhaps giving them undue attention is counter-productive as it only enhances their street cred. If so, using proxies like the Ugandans against them seems wise. Of course, this will produce other unintended consequences.

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