Without a Shadow of a Doubt Joseph Kony is a very dangerous individual. Recently in Washington DC Carter Ham the Commanding General of the United States Africa Command stated that he was the personification of evil. He has been a threat to four different Governments in Central Africa since the days of the Reagan Administration. He needs to be brought to justice.
However the detractors that will oppose this effort for whatever agenda that they are promoting or in fear of are going to have a field day with this and for three reasons. First of all it will appear that we are supporting another dictator. The Current President of Uganda is Yoweri Museveni. Earlier this year he was reelected under controversial and dubious circumstances. After the elections were concluded Opposition Supporters suffered a crackdown that turned violent in some instances. Also at this time the LGBT Community has been the targets of oppression with the proposed Bahati Bill and having the Largest Bar that caters to this community being forced to close by Police Action.
The Second area of concern is that it may give the impression that the Pentagon is behind the scenes in this. For several years since the formation of AFRICOM this has been a fear among those who have been critical of the Command. On the very day that the decision was made to send the Troops to Uganda the Washington Times ran a story quoting Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warning of a retreat from Africa if budget cuts are too severe. The timing of this will also be seen as flip-flopping yet again regarding an African Crisis.
The main concern will be that the United States will be seen as being a hypocrite. The Main rationale behind this will the fact that the United States will attempting to enforce a Warrant by the International Criminal Court when it has been the policy of the US since the Bush Administration to seek exemptions of US Citizens under what are called Article 98 Agreements.
These agreements also known as Bilateral Impunity Agreements (BIAs) prohibit the surrender to the ICC of a broad spectrum of people including former government officials, those in the military and others working for the US Government this also happens to include private security contractors. The original intent of these accords was to ensure that the SOFAs (Status of Forces Agreeements) that govern the actions of US Forces that are based in several countries around the world were not compromised. As a matter of fact the Bush Administration cut vital Military Aid to dozens of Countries that would not sign an Article 98 accord with the United States. It has not been revealed yet whether or not the Obama Administration has deviated from this policy at all.
Another reason for what will be considered US Hypocrisy is its position on the UN Security Council. That body has the power to refer specific Nations to the International Criminal Court. Since the US has veto power as a Permanent Member it could use its power to protect allies as well to burn perceived enemies.
Now these are the concerns that can be noticed at a glimpse. The President stated that the US Troops will not actively engage the LRA unless self-defense made it mandatory and that all necessary precautions will be taken to ensure troop safety. So what happens when/if US Casualties occur in combat with the LRA? Especially in a firefight where Kony is not captured?
If the latter question occurs then will we add Uganda to the list of poor Foreign Policy decisions like Ivory Coast, Egypt and Tunisia? Or will the Administration bank on Luck as it did for Libya? Too many questions to be answered and the scary thing is that some of them don't have to be asked yet.
The Author Comments on US Policy toward Africa and publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet. Confused Eagle can be found at confusedeagle.livejournal.com