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Using US troops to arrest LRA leader Joseph Kony is a bad idea

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In May, Obama signed a bill committing the United States to help arrest Kony and his commanders and protect the affected population. Now it is high time to act. Arresting Kony would reaffirm that mass murder cannot be committed with impunity. And it would show that, despite the difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan, the humanitarian use of force remains a live option at the Obama White House.

Oh, Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. Really? Sending some kind of US force into the weakest corner of three extremely weak states and one that could have dealt with this long ago had its leadership really wanted to do so, into territory they don't know, where they don't speak the local languages, to track down an enemy nobody's yet been able to nab, with limited resources? Is this what you're advocating? Really?

I have a ton of respect for Human Rights Watch and the incredible work they do, especially in Africa's Great Lakes region. While I don't agree that it's the worst idea on the internet from Tuesday, this recommendation is off base. Aside from the significant logistical and diplomatic quandaries such operations would pose (How, for example, does Roth think Khartoum would react to an American military presence on south Sudanese soil? Would the French agree to the presence of an American force in the CAR?), fighting in the dense forests in which the LRA hides without knowing the territory, the languages, or the local cultures means that troops undertaking such an operation would be at a significant tactical disadvantage.

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