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Thread: COIN case: LRA Lords Resistance Army

  1. #221
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    http://www.starafrica.com/fr/actuali...la-239777.html

    Let say we are lucky Kony is an idiot.
    Is that a uranium mining operation, or processing? Not much Kony's guys could do with raw uranium ore, and I don't think any refinement to a degree that would produce a dangerous product would be going on in CAR...
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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  2. #222
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Hello Dayuhan,

    Thats right, Kony can do nothing with uranium ore. And anyways, he is too dum to do anything with refined uranium.

    LRA hunt is quite well engaged. And it just demonstrates that what is problematic in this part of the world are not the armed group but rather the absence of political will to effectively fight against them.
    After 20 years of terror, LRA is going to be wipped out just because someone committed ressources and and sticked to the objective...

  3. #223
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Hat tip to CFC for this unexpected update:
    AU force to co-ordinate soldiers from regional armies hunting Lord's Resistance Army, but troops still lack resources....AU's special envoy on the LRA, Francisco Madeira, said the DRC had still not contributed troops but some commitments had been made and said the force required assistance to help it function properly.

    "We need more support, I don't have to elaborate on these because my predecessor has done this so well. We need support in terms of means of transport, communication, medicine, combat rations and uniforms for the troops tracking the LRA. This is particularly important and critical and most urgent for the central African troops who handed over their contingent despite the challenges facing them.....
    Link:http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa...754887151.html
    davidbfpo

  4. #224
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Does the hunt for Joseph Kony have any hunters?

    A harsh review on FP:
    The African Union Regional Task force -- envisioned as a 5,000-strong regional expeditionary force tasked with hunting down Kony's Lord's Resistance Army over a 115,000 square mile area -- has never mustered all the troops needed for the mission, nor formed into a real mobile force capable of mounting a cross border chase.

    "The [task force] is not close to realizing the vision of a multinational force conducting effective offensive operations against the LRA and protecting civilians....It exists only on paper and cannot be considered operational."
    Link to article:http://turtlebay.foreignpolicy.com/p...h_kony_stalled

    Link to cited report:http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb...nce%20Army.pdf

    One wonders if the social media campaign on the LRA will pick this up and re-start their campaign. As it is Africa and the UN even if they did I have m' doubts anyone would do anything beyond "grandstanding".
    davidbfpo

  5. #225
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Joseph Kony top bodyguard killed

    Little by little.

    The rebel, known as Brigadier Binani, was killed on Friday in a clash with Ugandan troops in the dense jungles of eastern Central African Republic close to the border with South Sudan....We got intelligence that the group was there and the squads were inserted to pursue them... the clash took place some 170 miles north of the remote settlement of Djema.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...rd-killed.html
    davidbfpo

  6. #226
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Youth Lost: Ugandan Child Soldiers in the LRA

    Pointer to a SWJ article, the full title being 'Youth Lost: Ugandan Child Soldiers in the Lord’s Resistance Army':http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art...esistance-army

    An interesting article on a quick glance, written IMHO by someone who has not been "boots on the ground" in the region - from a short bio.

    Step forward an anonymous commentator:
    I would like to add some perspective from someone who has personally participated in tactical operations during Operations Observant Compass (OOC), AFRICOM’s mission to assist the Ugandan People’s Defense Force (UPDF) in eradicating the LRA.
    davidbfpo

  7. #227
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default We have not gone away

    A short CIMIC paper 'The Lord’s Resistance Army and the Search for Joseph Kony' landed today; requires free registration:https://www.cimicweb.org

    From the current situation:
    While reported attacks by the LRA decreased in 2012, according to the LRA Crisis Tracker, attacks against civilians in the DRC, CAR and Uganda increased during the first quarter of 2013. The uptick in attacks continued in April and May, with the Small Arms Survey reporting an average of fifteen LRA attacks in CAR and DRC during both of those months. Although it is believed that most of the LRA fighters are positioned within CAR, most of the attacks took place in DRC. Kony and the LRA leadership still remain at large. The hunt for Kony has been further complicated by the April 2013 coup in CAR, after which the international force had to abandon its anti-LRA operations in that country. Bilateral agreements with the previous CAR regime allowed Ugandan troops to conduct operations in CAR. However, the new regime has not recognised these agreements. In April 2013, Ugandan officials claimed that intervention by the African Union had allowed anti-LRA operations to resume, but this has not been confirmed. The latest testimonies by defectors place Kony in Kafia Kingi enclave, controlled by Sudan, along the border with South Sudan, and in close proximity to the border of CAR. The reports hint at a renewal of Sudanese support for the LRA, claiming that the region is a safe haven for the group which has been able to establish bases there. Sudan’s cooperation with international efforts to capture Kony is almost non-existent, thus giving additional credibility to these reports. The Sudanese army has denied the allegations.
    Conclusion :
    Since the 1990s, the LRA has failed to represent a threat to any particular government in the region, but has carried out atrocities exclusively on civilians. Renewed attempts to halt the LRA’s activities resulted in a reduction of violence, but failed to destroy the movement and capture its leaders. Since its inception, the LRA has benefited from a lack of governance and security in Central and East Africa, and has proved increasingly adept at identifying new strategies and alliances to ensure its survival. Recent events such as the coup in CAR and the subsequent suspension of the search raise well-grounded concern of renewed LRA attacks. Regional and international cooperation to stop the LRA has proved to be the most effective weapon against the organisation over the last two decades. If the cooperation is obstructed or neglected, the void may represent a missed opportunity to capture Joseph Kony while providing the LRA another opportunity to regroup.
    The mainly US-based media campaign meet reality in Africa.
    davidbfpo

  8. #228
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Philanthropy, a PMC and other factors

    A superb New Yorker article, towards the end are two passages:
    ..the campaign itself has been an anomaly: cobbled together, as many have said, by love and Scotch Tape, and steered by an eclectic coalition of outside activists and committed individuals within the U.S. government and the U.N.....

    In the past two years, L.R.A. violence has dropped by ninety-three per cent, from seven hundred and six killings in 2010 to only fifty-one in 2012. According to Resolve, a U.S.-based analysis and advocacy group, the L.R.A. had approximately four hundred fighters in 2010; by June, 2013, they were down to a hundred and eighty Ugandan fighters and fifty armed zande—abductees from Congo and the Central African Republic.
    Link:http://www.newyorker.com/online/blog...seph-kony.html

    The PMC is led by Eeben Barlow, a SWC member:
    .. he told her he would take the job—and that he did not want a fee. He did not want to make money on this, he told her; she would just have to pay his trainers and underwrite his expenses.
    Way to go Eeben!
    davidbfpo

  9. #229
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    A fine read and a good catch which did light up my heart.

    Very well and nobly done...

    While it is only a small detail within the big story I found that part interesting:

    Around this time, additional contributions came in from the philanthropist and agricultural maverick Howard Buffett, and from Muneer Satter, a former Goldman Sachs partner and vice-chairman of the firm’s charitable foundation, who heard about Davis’s project and approached her. All this helped underwrite the escalating price of the operation: the helicopter costs about a hundred and sixty-eight thousand dollars each month, and the plane about seventy-three thousand dollars. Buffett told me he had even spent a night at one of the forward operating bases in the Central African Republic. “It’s miserable,” he said. But after consulting with lawyers to establish what was permitted, Buffett had few doubts about providing financial support. “We spent money on reintegration of child soldiers, on rebuilding agricultural areas, counselling rape victims. Why would you not jump at the chance to stop the core problem? If I can spend my money stopping it so I don’t have to spend more money in the future on the victims?”
    Howard Buffett is of course Warren Buffett son and will most likely play an important part in Berkshires future even if much family capital is flowing out and into the Gates foundation.
    Last edited by Firn; 10-22-2013 at 08:28 PM.
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  10. #230
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Am I getting that right: Eeben Barlow with his PMCs, plus a mix of US PMCs and US SPECFORs (measured by appearance of MC-130s at Entebbe), supported by a gaggle of 'usual suspects' like PC-12s, CASA 212s, Beech 200s, even a scant Do.328...not to talk about all the Russian and Ukrainian Mi-8/17s in UN markings... that one can get to see anywhere between Entebbe, Goma and Kigali these days... all of them are after these 'last 230 last LRA idiots'?

  11. #231
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Some, not all are involved

    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Am I getting that right: Eeben Barlow with his PMCs, plus a mix of US PMCs and US SPECFORs (measured by appearance of MC-130s at Entebbe), supported by a gaggle of 'usual suspects' like PC-12s, CASA 212s, Beech 200s, even a scant Do.328...not to talk about all the Russian and Ukrainian Mi-8/17s in UN markings... that one can get to see anywhere between Entebbe, Goma and Kigali these days... all of them are after these 'last 230 last LRA idiots'?
    CrowBat,

    From my reading - faraway - the UN marked helicopters are not involved, nor some of the aircraft and the last position of the LRA was a good distance further away - in the CAR. Marc L will know far more.
    davidbfpo

  12. #232
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Well, that's why I'm so much surprised by the appearance of all of that flying gear at mentioned airports in the last few days...

    Russian/Ukrainian Mi-8/17s, 'OK, UN'. Even a USAF C-130 or USN P-3 at Entebbe, 'all OK'. But MC-130s, and all the other stuff...?

    No clue what are they all doing there, but a connection to 'anti-LRA-ops' does not appear as 'logical' to me. Not on that side of Uganda (plus DRC and Rwanda).

  13. #233
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    An interesting article on the participation of less known actors in the hunt for Kony.
    I was quite surprised that Mr Barlow accepted to jump in that messy mission... (Liked very much his book against all hods, by the way)

    What surprised me the most is the accuracy of the figures given for the LRA fighters composition. Seems to me a little too accurate.

    About the planes... Well, those lost parts of the world are getting crowded since 2008 Christmas and the mass murder of 800 civilians by LRA. But I agree the link with LRA is not that obvious or logical.

    I would not link the planes presence to the Kivu conflict. It is quite far away and much more well equipped airports exist at a shorter flying distance. Eastern part of CAR is a nice play ground for special ops training. Also, with the fall of the CAR regime, the country entered chaos and heavy military presence in an uncontrolled part of a country where government is reduced to a list of names on a paper should not be that surprising. Especially since LRA is no more an issue for anyone, even Uganda.

    What bothers me more is the harrow boy militia in South Sudan. They were set to defend the population against the LRA but were already on the path to become a "governor militia" in Western Equatoria 3 years ago.
    Also, the DRC Province Oriental governor, Jean Bamanisa, just signed few month ago a military and trade agreement with the western Equatoria government. This should give a good clue on the level of LRA threat.

  14. #234
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Kony in CAR talking

    An odd report:
    The president of Central African Republic has told the United Nations he has negotiated with Joseph Kony, even as an African force hunts the war crimes suspect, according to a UN envoy. Abou Moussa, a UN special envoy, said in an interview with AFP news agency that Kony may be sick and that Michel Djotodia, the Central African Republic president, had told him this month he has sent food to Kony.....20 bags of food, with manioc, kasava.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...seph-Kony.html

    A little detail elsewhere, more a reminder for SWC:
    In April, the Ugandan army suspended a search for Kony in the CAR, blaming "hostility" from the government formed when rebel forces took power there.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25027616

    The CAR is currently wrecked after a violent rebellion, with reports of genocide and communities splitting along religious lines:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24996125
    davidbfpo

  15. #235
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Kony in CAR talking: well maybe not

    Today a different FP author "pors cold water" on yesterday's report:
    Let's just say that analysts tracking Kony are, well, skeptical about that claim. What's more likely, they say, is that the government is talking to a group of LRA fighters, possibly defectors, who may have no affiliation with Kony.

    (Near the end) So, don't get too optimistic about Joseph Kony being brought in anytime soon
    Link:http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/...OV%2022%202013
    davidbfpo

  16. #236
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default More US military help

    Post 230 in October 2013 by Crowbat refers to sightings of US military aircraft, which puzzled SWC at the time, it may do so again after a weekend DoD statement:
    The Obama administration is sending about 150 special forces troops along with military aircraft to Uganda to help in the search for warlord Joseph Kony.....In the first deployment of U.S. military aircraft to the region, at least four CV-22 Osprey aircraft will arrive in Uganda by midweek, together with refueling planes and special forces airmen to fly and maintain them...US personnel were authorised to "provide information, advice and assistance" to an African Union force tracking Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army.
    Originally a WaPo report, this is a UK version:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...rd-joseph-kony

    Added the WaPo story:http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...9e1_story.html

    I am sure Crowbat will wonder at the statement:
    In the first deployment of U.S. military aircraft to the region
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-24-2014 at 02:58 PM. Reason: Add 2nd link
    davidbfpo

  17. #237
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The bees, the bees

    A rather laudatory NYT article on US SOF in Africa, as the writer follows an official tour by the SOF's BG Linder and the LRA is not the main subject. There is a long section on the hunt for the LRA by Uganda troops with SOF directly alongside, which IIRC was way beyond their original ToR, with my emphasis in bold:
    Twelve days later and 4,500 miles away, in the bee-infested jungle of the Central African Republic, a team of four Green Berets and 22 Ugandan soldiers boarded CV-22 Ospreys, a kind of half-helicopter, half-airplane. It was 11 p.m., which meant they would have time to reach their objective under cover of darkness. Their mission was to raid an L.R.A. camp near a place called Nzako that recent defectors had described to them.......About half a mile from the target, two Ugandans and two Americans went ahead to conduct reconnaissance. They found a camp of 28 beds made of stacked grass that ringed the perimeter. But the beds were empty, and the fighters were gone, having most likely escaped a few days earlier. This happened all the time.
    Nice to note:
    Despite the reliance on the American planes, drones and dollars, it was the Ugandans who trained the Americans on how to survive.
    Link:http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/15..._r=0&referrer=
    davidbfpo

  18. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    A rather laudatory NYT article on US SOF in Africa, as the writer follows an official tour by the SOF's BG Linder and the LRA is not the main subject. There is a long section on the hunt for the LRA by Uganda troops with SOF directly alongside, which IIRC was way beyond their original ToR, with my emphasis in bold:

    Nice to note:

    Link:http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/15..._r=0&referrer=
    David,

    Great article, thanks for sharing. MG Linder is the right leader, at the right place, at the right time. He is employing special operations like they should be employed in an ideal situation. The only comment I disagreed with is MG Linder's comment about state on state conflict being a thing of the past. I only wish that were true. That isn't the issue they're dealing with in Africa at the moment, but Saudi and other Sunni States are waging a proxy war against Iran and vice versa. The risk of state on state conflict in the Asia-Pacific is high and increasing.

    I only bring this up, because it confounds our balancing act for ensuring our forces are ready to deal with the most significant and likely threats to our national interests. Both types of warfare, the irregular warfare MG Linder is leading and assisting other with, and conventional warfare require considerable training to be proficient at. Where do you assume risk? How do you align your forces? Does SOF only do irregular warfare, and conventional forces focus on conventional war? I still don't understand our Army's focus on the Regionally Aligned Brigades. Is nation building the right focus for the bulk of our ground combat power?

    To further demonstrate the challenge, in my view it is clear that SOF is being effectively employed in Africa. Others think so also, and want SOF in other regions to mimic how SOF is being employed in Africa, which is the wrong answer. It is the right approach in Africa, not in the rest of the world. We have a military that seeks models they can replicate, yet we talk about the necessity of deep understanding and cultural nuances. We still haven't got past the talk to reality in many cases.

  19. #239
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    Lets look a a segment of that quote again, shall we:

    About half a mile from the target, two Ugandans and two Americans went ahead to conduct reconnaissance. They found a camp of 28 beds made of stacked grass that ringed the perimeter. But the beds were empty, and the fighters were gone, having most likely escaped a few days earlier. This happened all the time.
    I highlight what I consider to be the key to the problem.

    With brutal honesty I would suggest that the LRA's bush craft and early warning systems are constantly underestimated - how close were the troops dropped by aircraft? Also the Ugandans would not be too unhappy to find these camps empty - and thus avoid combat. And I suggest the US troops knowledge of terrain and this enemy is underdeveloped.

    I suggest a little reading of the Mau Mau in Kenya to understand the level of tracking and bushcraft skill needed to counter those 100% in tune with their environment through a lifetime of experience living in the bush.
    Last edited by JMA; 06-16-2014 at 12:48 AM.

  20. #240
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    ... in my view it is clear that SOF is being effectively employed in Africa.
    They are?

    How so?

    I see no evidence of success anywhere so please enlighten me.

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