U.S. in Africa: Kony Has 100 Special Forces on His Trail

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U.S. President Barack Obama has sent 100 U.S. Army Special Forces to Uganda, ostensibly to hunt down rebel leader Joseph Kony, head of Uganda’s notorious Lord’s Resistance Army.

While the deployment is a warranted humanitarian intervention aimed at stopping the runaway rebel and his ragtag army of child soldiers, it may end up worsening the crisis if unsuccessful, and become a repeat of the Somalia debacle, which strengthened rather than weakened warlords.

Many argue that the deployment to Uganda has more to do with creating a military foothold south of the Sahara and creating a home for the drones operating in the Horn of Africa and viable theater for the U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) in the face of growing Chinese influence, which is not yet backed with a military presence.

It would be interesting to see how an increased military presence by the United States changes the configuration of the endless war in the Congo and how China responds to the increasing militarization of what is fast becoming its biggest investment destination and source of vital resources. More than anything else, if anything goes wrong, this deployment could have massive political costs for Obama in his bid for re-election in 2012.