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Thread: COIN case: LRA Lords Resistance Army

  1. #81
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Intervention: a debate

    Hat tip to Abu M for a comment on those who advocate the USA taking an active role in hunting the LRA: http://www.cnas.org/blogs/abumuqawam...-really-bad-id

    A linked blog has some more comments and intriguing information:http://tachesdhuile.blogspot.com/201...rt-i-when.html and then a more recent post:http://tachesdhuile.blogspot.com/201...al-africa.html

    From which I cite:
    However, Ex is absolutely right to use Kilcullen's four questions as a starting point:

    There are four questions we should ask when considering whether or not the United States should engage in an international intervention:

    1. Will an intervention make the situation better, or worse?

    2. If better, should the U.S. government participate in this intervention?

    3. If yes, should the U.S. government lead this intervention?

    4. If yes, what should the U.S. government do?

    But both Ex and those who've rallied around him have continued to use strawmen arguments and inaccurate assertions to avoid actually addressing these questions.
    The arguments then continue.

    My own personal question is why is the USA the only power seen as able to intervene?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-30-2010 at 10:23 PM.
    davidbfpo

  2. #82
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    US strategy on the LRA - breakdown of key sections
    US strategy on the LRA - breakdown of key sections
    Resolve’s highlights and a brief breakdown of the strategy, including actions listed as priorities for implementation:
    Vision: “Though the challenge is complex, the vision remains simple: people in central Africa are free from the threat of LRA violence and have the freedom to pursue their livelihoods."
    Purpose: The strategy does not contain much detail about specific action steps, instead providing an "overarching, comprehensive strategy direction over several years to... increase the likelihood of success in mitigating and eliminating the threat posed by the LRA." (Upcoming Congressional decisions on levels of funding will help determine how robustly the strategy is implemented and hence specific action steps.)
    Four main objectives (and summary of sub-objectives):
    1. Increase protection of civilians
    Improve sharing of information for understanding threats and vulnerabilities of civilian population as a result of LRA presence, and for supporting and developing effective protection strategies and interventions.
    Promote the increase in physical security of vulnerable civilian populations through the presence and action of protection actors.
    Strengthen the understanding of the LRA threat and the will and capabilities of key actors to support efforts to protect civilians and prevent and mitigate LRA attacks.
    2. Apprehend or remove from the battlefield Joseph Kony and senior LRA commanders
    Provide enhanced integrated logistical, operational, and intelligence assistance in support of regional and multilateral partners.
    Enhance and sustain diplomatic efforts to coordinate and encourage support for multilateral and regional military forces in their efforts to counter the LRA and to deny any potential support to the LRA from outside actors.
    3. Promote the defection, disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of remaining LRA fighters
    Ensure continued multilateral support to efforts to promote defections of LRA fighters and non-combatants through radio programs, leaflets, and other communication.
    Work with regional governments, MONUSCO, and other international actors to ensure necessary facilities and procedures are in place to receive defectors and transport them to desired home locations.
    Support the provision of enhanced medical, social, and economic reintegration assistance to demobilized LRA members and receiving communities.
    4. Increase humanitarian access and provide continued relief to affected communities
    Humanitarian agencies provide minimum standards of life-saving support to LRA-affected populations.
    Promote increased access and infrastructure for the delivery of humanitarian services.
    Humanitarian agencies support early recovery activities, including transition support and livelihood support for LRA-affected populations.
    Priority actions for immediate implementation
    Increase physical access and telecommunications
    including road and airstrip rehabilitation and telecommunications expansion, with focus on LRA-affected areas of CAR and DRC
    Increase mobility and access of civilian protection actors in LRA-affected areas
    mentions need to increase mobility of "humanitarian and civilian protection partners, including peacekeeping missions"
    Enhance coordination of civilian actors and sharing of information across borders
    Enhance the coordination and collaboration of forces in LRA-affected areas
    mentions need for coordination between national militaries and peacekeeping missions
    Increase opportunities for LRA fighters and associated persons to safely defect and escape
    Multilateral engagement
    The strategy mentions the October AU conference on the LRA in Bangui and "applauds AU engagement and regional leadership and coordination to address the LRA threat"
    The strategy highlights three priorities for US engagement at the UN Security Council as, 1. ensuring relevant peacekeeping missions are "resourced appropriately to fulfill their mandates," 2. encourage the UN political office for Central Africa to strengthen regional and international cooperation on the LRA, and 3. support the deployment of UN humanitarian staff to LRA-affected areas.
    The strategy also states an intention to continue engagement with the Office of the EU Special Representative, the World Bank’s TDRP-led LRA working group, and the Great Lakes Contact Group.
    The strategy says "Any effective strategy cannot exclusively rely on one military force..." It also acknowledges that there is no guarantee Ugandan military operations against the LRA will continue and highlights the necessity of developing broader support and capacity among regional and international actors to address the crisis (though few specific details are provided).
    Other notes of importance
    The strategy acknowledges that “there is no purely military solution to the LRA threat and impact.”
    The strategy highlights that additional support to the UPDF for LRA operations will happen in parallel with efforts to encourage professionalization of the UPDF and diplomatic efforts to encourage the Ugandan government and UPDF to respect human rights, democracy and good governance in Uganda.
    The strategy mentions that "local outreach" is an important component of pursuing the strategy’s objectives, but does not provide detail on how this will be done.
    The strategy also outlines continued US efforts to promote comprehensive reconstruction, transitional justice, and reconciliation in northern Uganda (see annex 3).
    http://www.sudantribune.com/US-strat...reakdown,37153

    If someone has an open source for a more comprehensive doc, please PM me.

  3. #83
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    M-A:

    Do you have any idea who they are speaking of when they say "civilian protection actors" and "civilian protection partners"?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Default former LRA Children used to fight LRA?

    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    Also there are good reports on former abducted children trained by LRA integrated into LRA hunt.
    Are you saying that former LRA child soldiers are being used to fight the LRA?

    Working for whom? Museveni?

  5. #85
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The LRA: an African Terrorist Group?

    An academic commentary from Perspectives on Terrorism:http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/...=145&Itemid=54

    The introduction summary ends with:
    It is concluded that the LRA is too ambiguous an organisation to be simply labelled in such a way. It is also suggested that the terrorism label has in fact been an obstacle to attempts to end successfully a confrontation that is now going into its 24th year.
    Worth reading just to get this:
    Gettleman ties this lack of ideology to the intractability of many of the current conflicts in Africa. Indeed, he uses the LRA as 'probably the most disturbing example’ of these new kinds of conflict, asking:

    Even if you could coax them out of their jungle lairs and get them to a negotiating table, there is very little to offer them. They don’t want ministries or tracts of land to govern. Their armies are often traumatized children, with experience and skills (if you can call them that) totally unsuited for civilian life. All they want is cash, guns, and a license to rampage. And they’ve already got all three. How do you negotiate with that?
    Citing:J. Gettleman. (2010) ‘Africa’s Forever Wars: Why the continent’s conflict never seem to end,’ Foreign Policy, March/April 2010.

    The author concludes:
    The case of the LRA should serve as a warning of both the difficulties of establishing whether a group in a conflict zone is truly a terrorist organisation and of the harm that such a label may cause when it comes to conflict resolution.
    davidbfpo

  6. #86
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    David:

    You know more about the 100 Years War than I do. Do you think the LRA can be seen as something akin to the armed bands that wandered about France during that war?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  7. #87
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default History can help

    Carl,

    You are stretching my historical knowledge there! I can just about remember reading 'The White Company', which referred to the mercenary / bandit groups that meandered around France:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_White_Company

    Secondly, I will defer to Stan, Tom & MA-L our African experts.

    I am on safer, nearer ground with the long history of large parts of the British Isles through history housing rebels and bandits. Only when roads, garrisons and other measures were taken did the problem abate. Not pleasant either, as Irish and Scottish folk will regale - notably on clearing small farmers from the land.

    European and British experiences may not be a good guide for the LRA
    davidbfpo

  8. #88
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    Default All news are not bad

    U.S. says it has no evidence Sudan supporting LRA rebels in Uganda

    Karl Wycoff, the U.S. Deputy Assistance Secretary for African Affairs said Friday he has seen no evidence of support from Sudan to the LRA, though he said he was aware of the allegation.
    "It’s something we closely monitor," Wycoff said during a telephone conference with journalists according to the Associated Press.
    Ugandan army spokesman Felix Kulayigye said Kony has left Darfur and crossed back into Congo. Kulayigye, who did not say when Kony crossed back over, also said Ugandan officials have no evidence of any support to Kony from Khartoum.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/U-S-says...ce-Sudan,37637

    The UPDF statement has to be taken with caution; rumors that Kony is still in Khartoum are quite vivace still.

  9. #89
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    U.S. lawmakers want monitoring of possible aid by Sudan to LRA

    Two U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill on Thursday that would require Obama’s administration to ensure that the Sudanese government is not providing support to the notorious Lord Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda.
    This would be the prerequisite for removing the East African nation from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism.
    This legislation cosponsored by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), requires the White House to certify to Congress that Khartoum is "no longer engaged in training, harboring, supplying, financing, or supporting in any way the Lord’s Resistance Army, its leader Joseph Kony, or his top commanders".
    "Last year, bipartisan legislation was signed into law requiring the Administration to devise a strategy to end the LRA’s atrocities. The strategy promises to ensure the LRA ‘receives no support or safe haven.’ I view this legislation as part of that effort," said Royce, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade.
    http://www.sudantribune.com/U-S-lawm...oring-of,38170

    An interresting initiative that comes a little late. For many analyst in the sub-region, LRA is now assimilated to banditry and has lost most of its support from Khartoum. But still, this is to be noticed and encourraged.

  10. #90
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Stars and Stripes is doing a series of stories on American assistance to the FARDC. The link is to the first of the stories. It is about a rapid reaction battalion being trained by us. The first mission of the battalion will be to deploy to the north and hunt down the LRA.

    http://www.stripes.com/trainees-try-...-past-1.144366

    In the photo gallery accompanying the story is a photo of a 65 year old 2nd LT.

    Same old Congo it seems. The second story in the series states that when the US ceased supplying the battalion and the FARDC took over supply, the troops went from 3 meals a day to one.
    Last edited by carl; 05-28-2011 at 12:02 AM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Stars and Stripes is doing a series of stories on American assistance to the FARDC. The link is to the first of the stories. It is about a rapid reaction battalion being trained by us. The first mission of the battalion will be to deploy to the north and hunt down the LRA.

    http://www.stripes.com/trainees-try-...-past-1.144366

    In the photo gallery accompanying the story is a photo of a 65 year old 2nd LT.

    Same old Congo it seems. The second story in the series states that when the US ceased supplying the battalion and the FARDC took over supply, the troops went from 3 meals a day to one.
    Same old Congo? Maybe the same old mistakes being repeated in Africa?

    Carl, this topic could well be a discussion in its own right where one could look at the various formulas for training indigenous African troops by "European" powers and the successes and failures. The US experience extends beyond Africa of course going back many years so one is surprised at the approach.

    ... I wonder if anyone called Stan and his mates for advice on how to handle this task? Doubt it.

  12. #92
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Hello Carl and JMA,

    Here is my bet: none did consult Stan or anyother people in charge at that time.
    About FARDC training, I have been told it was done through private contractors rather than the US army directly. Does someone have more details on this?

  13. #93
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    Default let say it's gonna work

    Uganda LRA rebel tracking technology unveiledhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15173291

    The first humanitarian success against LRA

  14. #94
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    Default New technology undermined

    MA-L,

    Nice idea, but flawed. It is akin to a neighbourhood watch, LRA spotted, messages go out an who responds. In crime reduction "speak" who are the capable guardians? In theory it should be the state, but I expect they have little presence in such villages, nor the means for a rapid 'Fire Force' response.

    I dread to think what will happen when say the original spotting village is raided by the LRA, the radio destroyed and the LRA leave. Will other radio users still use the radio?

    Now if an air-mobile infantry company was added, that responded to sightings and stayed in villages at random - then I would be happier.
    davidbfpo

  15. #95
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    I think this is a good idea. When I was there HF radios were common in the larger towns and various churches in the interior. It appears from the story they are just providing HF to smaller places that didn't have it before. As a tool to defeat the LRA it does need some teeth to back it up, but as a tool to give people enough warning so they have time to flee into the bush, it could save some lives.

    It will be more useful than may be imagined in hunting those guys down too. If the UPDF is still walking around the area it will save them a lot of time if they get a report that LRA were seen 8 klics north of someplace yesterday, when that someplace previously couldn't provide any reporting less than 2 weeks old. In this part of the world, you may not need cutting edge technology and helo borne QRFs to make a difference.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    David, Carl,

    I agree this is just gadget and will not put an end to LRA neither increase population protection. But this is the only part of the US LRA bill and strategy that have been put in place.

    The US trained a company of FARDC and equiped them. They were deployed in the Uele but other non trained FARDC got jealous and advenged on the population. (Who said DRC is foxtrot uniform?)

  17. #97
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    Obama orders U.S. troops to help chase down African 'army' leader

    Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama is sending about 100 U.S. troops to Africa to help hunt down the leaders of the notoriously violent Lord's Resistance Army in and around Uganda.

    "I have authorized a small number of combat-equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield," Obama said in letter sent Friday to House Speaker John Boehner and Daniel Inouye, the president pro tempore of the Senate. Kony is the head of the Lord's Resistance Army.

    U.S. military personnel advising regional forces working to target Kony and other senior leaders will not engage Kony's forces "unless necessary for self-defense," Obama said.

    "I believe that deploying these U.S. armed forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa ..."

  18. #98
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    I only know a very little about how the SF would work this. Can somebody give an outline of what they would do to assist the various forces involved? Would one of the things they might do be to work directly with the FARDC battalion we trained in order to make it actually do something?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Default Source documents

    The President's War Powers Act Notice reads in the parts most pertinent to me - the "jus ad bellum".

    In the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, Public Law 111-172, enacted May 24, 2010, the Congress also expressed support for increased, comprehensive U.S. efforts to help mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the LRA to civilians and regional stability.

    In furtherance of the Congress's stated policy, I have authorized a small number of combat-equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield. I believe that deploying these U.S. Armed Forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa.
    ...
    I have directed this deployment, which is in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive. I am making this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in this action.
    As discussed in another thread, this decision is non-justiable (not subject to judicial review) - unless Congress objects to the decision.

    Links for the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, Public Law 111-172 and abstract:

    S. 1067: Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009
    111th Congress: 2009-2010

    A bill to support stabilization and lasting peace in northern Uganda and areas affected by the Lord's Resistance Army through development of a regional strategy to support multilateral efforts to successfully protect civilians and eliminate the threat posed by the Lord's Resistance Army and to authorize funds for humanitarian relief and reconstruction, reconciliation, and transitional justice, and for other purposes.

    Sponsor: Sen. Russell Feingold [D-WI]
    This bill became law. It was signed by Barack Obama.
    Let's see how close this venture comes to the "estimated cost of $28,000,000."; and whether it resembles El Salvador or not.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Posted by Mike,

    Let's see how close this venture comes to the "estimated cost of $28,000,000."; and whether it resembles El Salvador or not
    From what I read Mike, I wouldn't be looking for an El Salvador model, or any other model, but an appropriate response based on the mission's objectives. If you're looking for model that may come close I suspect it will be the early years of the OEF-Philippines, but still not the same.

    I'm glad to see this happening for a number of reasons.

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