U.S. Military Deployments to Africa: Lessons from the Hunt for Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army
JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIV MACDILL AFB FL
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Dr. James Forest s monograph explores lessons and observations from the recent United States Special Operations Forces USSOF effort to help Ugandan and other African regional forces locate and apprehend Joseph Kony and members of the Lord s Resistance Army LRA. Dr. Forest examines the context behind the decision to deploy U.S. military advisors to the region and the significant public pressure placed on the Obama administration to do something. The U.S. commitment to helping Africa respond to the LRA threat dates back to the early 1990s. Dr. Forest provides an overview of the initial troop deployment and the logistics challenge faced and then explores various lessons that can be derived from the first 18 months of deployment. Four themes are identified as important for the success or failure of future U.S. military deployments to sub-Saharan Africa 1 preparations and logistics, 2 perceptions and expectations management, 3 partnerships and relationship management, and 4 policy and politics. The observations and lessons about preparation and logistics are described and it is recommended that Special Operations Forces SOF teams deploying to this environment should prioritize their learning to focus on the customs, culture, and history of the region. SOF teams can hire translators to help them across the language barriers once on the ground, but they cannot get translators to help them across the cultural barriers. Logistically, the movement of materiel into many areas of Africa is limited by the relatively short length of landing strips, which can be used only by small fixed-wing or rotary aircraft. A considerable amount of creativity and ingenuity is necessary to maximize available space on these aircraft.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics