Friday, October 28, 2011

Long term strategy for Africa

from Time argues that the long term plan of President Obama sending troops in to get the LPA is to stablize an unstable Africa

No direct threat to cite here, and no linkages to transnational terrorism, so this is a pure humanitarian/regional stability play - exactly what Africom was initially sold as doing. Lately, Africom's focus has shifted dramatically to killing bad actors as part of the long war against violent extremism, so this is a good image-enhancing move already being applauded by human rights groups. Nobody likes the LRA. They're essentially an insurgency that outlived the civil war and they've been doing their crimes for so long that they don't know how to stop, so the key here will be crafting some exit strategy for the rank and file while separating the leadership for prosecution. The longtime leader, Joseph Kony, is a true nutcase.

The nice upside of this move: it has Africom working with militaries and governments in Uganda, the D.R. Congo, Central African Republic, and fledgling state South Sudan - all states in real need of military mentoring. So this is the right subject, right sort of states, and helping in the way Africom was designed to work. It's a nice move by the Obama administration that speaks to the reality that a lot of this work still needs to be done across Africa. China won't do it, so it's us or nobody

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