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US troops against the LRA? A war worth winning

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In October, President Obama announced that he would be involving U.S. forces in yet another conflict on African soil. Just a month and a half after the fall of Tripoli, the president stated that 100 combat-equipped military advisers would be deployed to Central Africa to provide “information, advice, and assistance to select partner nation forces.” The ultimate goal of the mission is the “removal from the battlefield” of  Ugandan rebel Joseph Kony and other senior leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

 This initiative was immediately criticized by members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, who challenged the president’s assertion that defeating the LRA is in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. Opponents of the deployment argued that the president was sending US troops into another costly and dangerous conflict, which in this case has been ongoing for more than 20 years. As one Democratic congressman put it, “What is the strategic interest of the United States in doing this? I mean, there are lots of unpleasant people in the world…. The United States obviously cannot try to dethrone every one of them.”

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