... The U.S. has been quietly involved in the war on the LRA [Lord’s Resistance Army] for several years, even helping the Ugandans plan a 2009 raid that missed Kony and sparked a bloody LRA reprisal. So why make such a big deal out of the latest effort? Could the new deployment represent the beginning of another U.S. “shadow war” waged by commandos and killer drones?
And why now? The LRA has been raping and pillaging across Central Africa for 20 years. What, besides a widely-ignored 2010 law, compelled Washington to try again to defeat the group? (Wired Danger Room)
This is the question Americans are asking, why now, why after all these years? We're told by different sources that the LRA is only 400 members strong. Why haven't we used drones and missiles to take these people out over all these years? Yet after two decades or more of raping, killing, torturing, abusing young children, more than 65,000 children over the years, kidnapping tens of thousands of people, forcing them into slavery, the military and prostitution, suddenly we send 100 soldiers?
We're told that the US military already in Uganda and the new members arriving soon -- all combat ready and instructed to fight if attacked -- may further deploy to the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and southern Sudan. According to reports the US is only sending 100 troops, as advisers. (image: VOA)
Here is one possible explanation:
“Multiple reports from former LRA abductees indicate that key members of the LRA command structure gathered in southeast Central African Republic between June and September of 2011,” Ronan [Paul Ronan, from the aid group Resolve] said. The meeting reportedly included Dominic Ongwen, a former child soldier indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
“By late September an LRA group of 100 to 200 had split up and was heading into South Sudan and towards Congo, split between four and five groups,” Ronan added. What they’re up to, is anyone’s guess — but it can’t be good. And if their intentions include a large-scale assault on innocent civilians, it could explain why the Pentagon is in a hurry to intervene. (Wired Danger Room)
So, the 200 (or 400 depending on sources) member group has divided up into four or five groups, approximately 40 bad guys per group spread out over how many miles? Uganda has a land surface of 241,139 square kilometers (roughly twice the size of the state of Pennsylvania). It seems to me the goal of taking out the LRA and it's leaders would have been much easier years ago, but that's just me.
Why were troops not sent back in 2009 when congressional permission was given? I am hesitant to suggest that the Barack Obama administration has any political reason for sending these troops now. They already have the 'not-war' in Libya which we were told would have no boots on the ground (lie), which would take only a few weeks (lie), where the US would be taking an advisory role (lie). Outcry from the Left on Libya was nil, same with the announcement on troops to Uganda, unlike the outcry for troops sent by previous presidents.
I'm afraid the answer to the question "why now?" remains unanswered for me.