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Old 06-16-2014   #241
Bill Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMA View Post
They are?

How so?

I see no evidence of success anywhere so please enlighten me.
Fair enough, and I'll attempt a feeble defense. First off, these are not war zones, so the military remains largely subordinate to the Department of State (DOS), and DOS is seldom about winning. They want to maintain control of the military strategy they don't understand. I question if they understand our political objectives, but that is a different argument.

Second, these operations take time, and more importantly they take the support of the supported nation. If your comment about the Ugandan forces not being disappointed is correct, then the FID approach won't work. At that point we need to reconsider what our way forward should be, to include leaving altogether. That would be a short term failure, but could contribute to long term success for more important missions when countries realize we're finally serious about them stepping up to the plate to address their own security problems. In Uganda I think our objectives extend well beyond killing Koni, so things may not be as bad you portray them.

If we're starting to provide support to Nigeria that will be a test case to watch.

To add to your argument I just saw a news flash about a potentially major terrorist attack on a Kenya coastal town. Still waiting for details. Carl has a point, we often have no intention on winning. It seems we prefer to take half steps for ever, which simply prolongs the fighting, prolongs the suffering, and creates a culture over generations that no nothing but war. We accused the Sri Lankan government of "winning" their war against the Tamil separatists the long way. We miss the point they won, and that country is being reconstructed. The level of hate and discrimination there is probably less than we experienced after our Civil War, but we only read history, we don't take lessons from it. We and the UN faulted the S. African mercenary unit who quickly and effectively suppressed the rebels in Sierra Leone. The more I think about we might be allergic to winning? Winning in most situations requires aggressive pursuit of the adversary, but doing so in a way that doesn't undermine our legitimacy at home and internationally like the French did in Algeria. No body said it was easy, but darned if we don't spend millions educating our officers to fight (I think), and instead we now have a movement to develop a military composed of nation builders. That is seen as more relevant because we're not allowed to win by fighting, so we put our hope in economic development.
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Old 06-17-2014   #242
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Bill, my experience in soldiering with Americans has been all good. From my experience there is no problem with the quality of professional soldiers in your country.

That said I would suggest that the weakness in these overseas adventures at short notice is that the soldiers so deployed have none or very little local knowledge of enemy and terrain... but perhaps worse still no understanding of the local troops they are to work with or train.

IIRC it was Norwegians and/or Germans who were called in to train troops for Somalia. Maybe now you can understand my contention that it is a case of the blind leading the blind. What can a Norwegian or a German contribute to the training of Africans for a war in Africa? Zero, zip, nothing (unless in a specific weapon or weapon system).

A few years ago we saw reference to the training of a battalion in the DRC comprising elements from various rebel groups by a US training team. Not good, look it up.

I put my head on a block that the only way to train troops in Africa is through "training the trainers".

OK back to warfare. To avoid coming in blind US forces must be fed into the system over a period of years and not - under any circumstances - on a short tour.

Study is important and I would suggest it starts here:

BUSH WARFARE - The Early Writings of General Sir William C.G. Heneker, KCB KCMG DSO

This is an account of the experiences of a Canadian officer at the end of the 1800s who clearly was capable of understanding warfare in Africa and should be studied by all before deployment to Africa.

etc etc ...

Last edited by JMA; 06-17-2014 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 01-08-2015   #243
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Seleka, a mainly Muslim rebel group in the Central African Republic, said it captured Dominic Ongwen, a leader of the Lordís Resistance Army militants, on Jan. 3 and handed him to U.S. forces (in CAR) two days later. A U.S. officer offered Seleka a monetary reward, General Antime, a Seleka official, said in a phone interview today
Link:www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-08/central-african-republic-s-seleka-says-it-captured-ongwen.html?

Events in France pushed this matter into the background, although on searching others have covered the story - so for a little more detail:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30705649
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Old 01-10-2015   #244
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Default Seleka rebels want $5m reward

Ho-hum, the Seleka haven't had their money or a thank you.

Quote:
A Seleka commander said he was captured after a 25-minute battle, after which they informed US forces in the area. A US official had said that Mr Ongwen had defected, before being handed over to their forces.

Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30743647
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Old 01-13-2015   #245
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Default Dominic Ongwen: The complex story of a child soldier

Quote:
the story of the man as I know it, and what his defection might mean to the future of the LRA. More so than Joseph Kony, the founder and leader of the LRA, Ongwen is sadly typical of the LRA rank and file. His example refutes the erroneous but morally and sometimes legally convenient definitions of LRA members as either helpless victims or violent perpetrators. Abducted as a child, indoctrinated and forced into committing unspeakable acts before he had even hit puberty, Ongwen is clearly a victim, but he is also a perpetrator.
Which ends with:
Quote:
The only thing clear from Ongwenís surrender is that the LRA crisis is still not over.
Link:http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...child-soldier/
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Old 01-14-2015   #246
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Default Go to jail in Holland!

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A senior militia commander wanted for war crimes has been handed over to Ugandan troops in the Central African Republic (CAR), the US says.

Rebels in the CAR said he was captured but US officials say he defected.
Uganda has said he will face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30810501
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Old 04-07-2015   #247
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Default Of the top five in the LRA, one is left

Pending an official statement by Uganda the NYT reports:
Quote:
The bullet-scarred remains of the No. 2 commander in the Lordís Resistance Army, the guerrilla group that once terrorized central Africa, have been positively identified after having been exhumed three months ago in a Uganda-led military expedition, a person involved in the recovery operation said Monday.....only Mr. Kony, a warlord and self-described prophet, remains at large.
Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/07/wo...n-uganda.html?
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Old 09-30-2015   #248
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Default WaPo is shocked, I'm not

The small US mission has attracted a WaPo report, with a lurid headline and these two opening passages:
Quote:
As their mission stretches into a fifth year, however, U.S. troops have turned to some unsavory partners to help find Kony’s trail. Working from a new bush camp in the Central African Republic, U.S. forces have begun working closely with Muslim rebels — known as Seleka — who toppled the central government two years ago and triggered a still-raging sectarian war with a campaign of mass rapes and executions. The Pentagon had not previously disclosed that it is cooperating with Seleka and obtaining intelligence from the rebels. The arrangement has made some U.S. troops uncomfortable.
As previous posts from January 2015 show this cooperation is hardly new.

Link:https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...19_story.html?
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Old 12-22-2015   #249
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Default My husband the warlord: an extract from the memoir of Joseph Kony's wife

A short article, no doubt part of the publisher's advertising; caveat aside maybe it helps to explain:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...memoir-extract
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Old 02-12-2016   #250
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Perhaps one day more will be said:
Quote:
A senior commander with the rebel group Lord's Resistance Army has defected to villagers in Central African Republic, the U.S. Africa Command said Friday. The rebel commander defected near the community of Pangbayanga, and is being debriefed in the country by the African Union Regional Task Force and U.S. forces, the command said. No further details were given.
Link:http://bigstory.ap.org/urn:publicid:...7bd89be858d2cf

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Old 03-03-2016   #251
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Red face 'They have not gone away'

The pressure groups have told at least this Jo'burg-based journalist the LRA are active once more:
Quote:
Rebels from the Lordís Resistance Army (LRA) have dramatically escalated their attacks, abducting more than 200 people - including 54 children - in the first two months of this year. The LRA carried out twice as many raids in January and February alone as during the whole of 2015, according to "LRA Crisis Tracker".....The LRA had been reduced to as few as 120 fighters and 100 accompanying women and children.
Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...f-attacks.html
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Old 04-25-2016   #252
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Default AFRICOM -v- LRA an albatross?

Is this a pointer to an exit coming? The article opens with:
Quote:
Africa Commandís five-year search for the elusive warlord Joseph Kony continues, but the mission in the remote jungles of central Africa has become an albatross for the general in charge of the campaign......An expensive albatross.
Link:http://www.stripes.com/news/africom-...-kony-1.405757
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Old 12-31-2016   #253
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Default A child soldier with the LRA

A long review by Professor Stephen Chan, an expert on Africa, of a book 'When the Walking Defeats You' by Ledio Cakaj, as he explains:
Quote:
It’s narrated by a young Ugandan student, pseudonym “George”, who was expelled from school and sent by his own family to join and fight with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). He became a bodyguard to the group’s infamous leader, Joseph Kony, who admired him for his learning.

...that as a very young soldier in Uganda, he also had his reasons and reflections, fears and hopes, pride and premonitions.

(Ends with) George’s telling is very much a narration of an encounter, not a psychological or intellectual inquiry. But it isn’t cheap or glib, and the book as a whole raises profund questions. Perhaps there are reasons why children fight – and perhaps even why madmen fight.
Link:https://theconversation.com/in-one-of-2016s-best-books-a-former-lords-resistance-army-child-soldier-reveals-the-reason-behind-the-mayhem-70027?
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Old 03-11-2017   #254
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Default COIN case: LRA Lords Resistance Army

Lordís Resistance Army: The U.S. Militaryís Unorthodox Mission Against Kony

Moderator adds: the link is to the WSJ and cannot - here - be viewed without $ or registration.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-12-2017 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Copied from SWJ Blog. 75,737v
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Old 03-23-2017   #255
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Default AFRICOM -v- LRA an albatross? Back again

From the NYT:
Quote:
The Pentagon is poised to significantly scale back a decade-long mission to capture or kill Joseph Kony, one of Africa’s most notorious warlords, in a sign that the United States and its African allies no longer see him as a regional threat.
Link:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/w...o-africa.html?

Trump's transition team asked questions why, so the renewal in April 2017 may be different.
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Old 05-01-2017   #256
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Default End of Joseph Kony hunt raises fears LRA could return

One episode in this long running campaign, truly a 'Small War', has come to an end:
Quote:
Uganda and the US have ended a six-year hunt for the fugitive warlord Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lordís Resistance Army.
Uganda began withdrawing its troops from their base in eastern CAR last week. The departure of 100 US special forces, who worked alongside the Ugandan soldiers, began this week.
There is more detail in the article, including two LRA leaders have defected and the group now may have 120 fighters - hiding in a forest area which both Sudan and South Sudan claim.
Link:https://www.theguardian.com/global-d...ce-army-return
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Old 05-01-2017   #257
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Default Dominic Ongwen: The complex story of a child soldier

This man appeared in Post 245, in January 2016 and I spotted this update in a photo collection:
Quote:
The international criminal court trial of former child soldier turned warlord Dominic Ongwen in Lukodi, Uganda, started on 6 December 2016, and was broadcast live. The first former child soldier to be tried at the ICC, Ongwen, 41, denied 70 war crimes and charges of crimes against humanity
Link:https://www.theguardian.com/global-d...ny-in-pictures

His ICC trial resume today. From:https://www.icc-cpi.int/uganda/ongwen
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Old 05-27-2017   #258
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An update and unusually the focus is on the local people in part of CAR and the likely impact of a Ugandan Army exit:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-39999324
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Old 08-01-2017   #259
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Default The Resilence of the LRA

A short article that starts with:
Quote:
The Lord’s Resistance Army is seriously depleted as a fighting force, but it still continues to exist as an armed group. This resilience is driven by several key factors.
It concludes:
Quote:
In sum, the LRA has survived by virtue of its organizational cohesion, resource use, and the ability to read its political terrain in order to exploit regions without state structures. However, such strategies may not be sufficient to sustain the LRA indefinitely. The Ugandan-led Regional Task Force (RTF) has killed and captured senior commanders from the battlefield and increased fighter defections. To be sure, the hunt for the LRA has been hamstrung by logistical and political difficulties. Above all, RTF operations are currently at risk of losing their logistical support from the U.S. Special Forces, which have larger consequences for regional peace and security in central and eastern Africa.
Link:https://sustainablesecurity.org/2017...sistance-army/
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