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Think Progress: U.S. Stepping Up Campaign Against Joseph Kony, Highlighting Complex Relationship With Uganda

Author: Hayes Brown
March 28, 2014

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"Five months into his first term in office, President Barack Obama laid out his vision for how American values would guide his thinking in crafting foreign policy. 'We uphold our most cherished values not only because doing so is right, but because it strengthens our country and it keeps us safe,' he said at the time…. The next five years have shown the difficulty that comes when some of those values clash with each other, jostling for dominance."

Foreign policy is messy. It's complex. And it rarely leaves all viewers feeling satisfied at the results. The Obama administration is being forced to confront that basic fact now in Uganda, a country that has in recent months proved itself to be one of the greatest balancing acts the U.S. faces in terms of satisfying its competing desire to provide human security, save lives from disease, encourage democracy, and promote the welfare of gays and lesbians.

On the security front, the administration on Monday announced that it was deploying more military resources into the central African country to aid in the pursuit of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Led by internationally wanted war criminal Joseph Kony, the LRA has cut a swath of violence throughout the region for years, leading advocates to press for a stronger response from the United States. In 2010, Congress passed the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, allowing greater U.S. involvement in the hunt of Kony and his compatriots. Starting soon, the100 soldiers that the U.S. has had deployed in the region since 2011 will have company in the form of 150 Air Force special forces and other airman and at least four Osprey CV-22 transport helicopters.

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