The ever-insightful Ken Opalo had a great post last week about why the US has been putting so much military aid towards the hunt for Joseph Kony in Uganda, even as it’s tried to avoid getting involved in the much more pressing humanitarian emergency in the CAR. Key point:
The US recently announced new military aid to Uganda, including four CV-22 Ospreys and an additional 150 Special Operation troops (to join the 100 deployed in 2011) in an effort to step up the hunt for Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Kony is suspected to be in hiding in the border regions CAR, the DRC, Sudan and South Sudan. Of course this rather bizarre decision (is Kony really that much of a priority right now in the Great Lakes Region?) is motivated by the need to keep the Ugandan military in top shape and ready to fight in places the US doesn’t want to set foot.
I tend to assume that US aid to other countries’ militaries is always driven by foreign policy concerns. In this light, assisting in the hunt for Kony doesn’t make much sense. But it’s quite interesting to consider that the Defense Department might be concerned about stability in Africa more broadly, beyond the immediate threat they see (xenophobically) from Muslim armed groups.
(Thank you to Scott for pointing out that I forgot to link to Ken’s post!)