On October 14, President Obama notified Congress that he had sent “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.” Not much has been written about this intervention in the last few months. On Monday, Walter Pincus noted:
According to the Ugandan press, dozens of the U.S. Special Forces troops have established a frontline base in Obo, a town in southeastern Central African Republic, to help the regional armies track down [Joseph] Kony and other [Lord’s Resistance Army] leaders. The forward-based personnel are there to help with intelligence, communications and logistics operations. They are to fight only in self-defense.
Pincus quotes William M. Bellamy, director of the National Defense University’s Africa Center, and a former U.S. ambassador in Kenya, who described the U.S. action as an “armed humanitarian mission” of 100 Special Forces, and added that there are “no good precedents” for what the USG is doing. To which Pincus added: “Would this be the precedent for military deployments in the post-Iraq, post-Afghanistan world?”