Remember Our War in Uganda?

John Glaser, November 29, 2011

A new Congressional Research Service report on Obama’s military intervention into Uganda and surrounding countries ostensibly to fight the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been obtained by Secrecy News. Here’s one excerpt I found particularly interesting:

In addition, increased U.S. reliance on the UPDF may impede U.S. diplomatic leverage vis-à-vis the Ugandan government’s domestic record on democracy, good governance, and human rights, which the State Department recently characterized as “deteriorating.” Uganda is the largest troop contributor to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which the Administration views as critical to countering an insurgency led by Al Qaeda-affiliated forces. Uganda has received increasing State Department- administered security assistance in recent years and also benefits from regular military-to-military contacts and joint exercises…

Uganda’s capacity and will to pursue its counter-LRA efforts should be viewed in context with its other competing security priorities. These include Uganda’s commitment to maintaining troops in Somalia; concerns related to the potential for unrest in neighboring South Sudan; ongoing insecurity in Uganda’s volatile Karamojong area; and domestic political upheaval related to elections in February 2011, which returned President Museveni to office, further extending his 25-year tenure…

Interesting primarily because this is exactly what I wrote about in the hours and days following Obama’s announcement that he was sending 100 U.S. combat troops to the region. I noted, first of all, that the primary motivator for the intervention was not Obama’s concern for human rights abuses perpetrated by the LRA, but rather as an assist to the Ugandan dictatorship to keep fighting the American cause in Somalia. I also pointed out how similar this story is, for the U.S. to be fighting proxy wars for the benefit of brutal military dictatorships, and how – not long after Obama’s deployment – repression in Uganda rose sharply. And last but not least, recent history has made pretty clear that U.S. efforts against the LRA has only provoked increased massacres and human rights violations and this would certainly lead to unintended consequences.

By the way, has anyone heard anything about America’s war in east Africa lately?




3 Responses to “Remember Our War in Uganda?”

  1. We don't hear about most of these little backpage wars. For instance one of my friends has just been sent to Liberia to lead the training mission in Liberia. Who talks about that one? Yet we have 90% of the foreign troops that are in the country. We back this ruthless regime and the country is a mess.

  2. Here a war, there a war, everywhere there's a war war. By the by, there's military presence coming to a neighborhood near you.

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