There is a certain irony to this given that the military has just put an end to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and the very first post DADT US Military deployment is to very anti-LGBT Uganda.
President Obama noted that “For more than two decades, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women, and children in central Africa. The LRA continues to commit atrocities across the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan that have a disproportionate impact on regional security. Since 2008, the United States has supported regional military efforts to pursue the LRA and protect local communities.”
Still, so far, the regional military have not been able to bring down the LRA, which has often been described as a Christian militia.
Obama wrote to Congress to tell them that “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.”
It is still ironic that President Obama is sending these troops, which may include many lesbian and gay soldiers, into a region where homosexuality is heavily repressed. There is also the question of why are troops being sent to the region? Obama’s letter appears to hint at this being just about humanitarian causes, but it is likely that there will be people wondering if this has to do with securing the oil fields that are found in that region.