US Forces Join in Kony Hunt

3 Oct

At the end of 2011, President Obama deployed 100 special operations troops into the Central African Republic to aid in the hunt for Joseph Kony. Kony at the time was thought to be somewhere in the dense Obo jungle with the 300 remaining meber of the LRA. The american soldiers were split up into units of 15 to 30 and are playing an advisory role in the hunt for Kony (Fox News, 2012). However, the U.S military has had a long involvement in the region,  the video below highlights the links between military presence and the recent oil discoveries in the East African region. I highly recommend watching this whole clip to get a greater context of US involvement in Africa.

Summary of the video:
“As the scramble for Ugandan oil heats up, a documentary about Joseph Kony’s 20 year campaign of terror has become an online cause celebre and is once again energizing the public for military campaigns abroad. But what is the public not being told about the background of US involvement in the region, and what will come of the public’s growing support for military intervention?”

The video below criticises Africom’s role in Africa as a ploy to gain control over oil, secure its position relative to China and to fight  the ‘war on terrorism’. I also highly recommend watching this whole clip to gain a greater understanding of the history of US insecurity.

This intervention could be seen to be part of the wider trend, as Besteman and Gusterson(2010) describe it, of American ‘insecurity’. “Peddled by international financial institutions and American foreign policy, and powered by financial deregulation and the rise of new forms of communications technology, neoliberal reforms on a global scale have wreaked havoc in the lives of poor and middle-class citizens across the globe, even while producing a small international class of cosmopolitan jet-setting elites (Besteman and Gusterson, 2010: 14). As such, the fear of the ‘other’, and the heightened fear of foreigners, especially after the 9/11 attacks, have led to the US adopting a fortress mentality (Besteman and Gusterson, 2010: 16) where the ultimate fear is a terrorist attack with nuclear weapons (Besteman and Gusterson, 2010: 17).

Resources

Besteman, C., Gusterson, H. 2010 The insecure American: How we got here and what we should do about it, University of California Press, USA.

Fox News, 2012 US special forces help in the hunt for warlord Kony, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/04/29/us-special-forces-help-in-hunt-for-warlord-kony303902/#ixzz28wGcB44N, 08/10/2012.

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