I'm very concerned that President Obama has just announced the commitment of 100 U.S. military advisers to train Ugandan troops. When I read that, my mind jumped back to the 1960's when our nation took a similar action in Vietnam, with tragic results for all involved. I always hope that our foreign policy decision-makers have the capacity to learn from history. Often, I have found that this is far from the truth.
I fully understand the crisis that Uganda has faced by the Lord's Resistance Army. Kidnapping children to brainwash them and make them child-soldiers. Rape. Murder. Destruction. All of these are terrible. You can read more about conditions in Uganda and Obama's decision at this link: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-sending-troops-aid-africa-anti-insurgency-183816681.html
I'm not unsympathetic to the Ugandan people, I lived on the Kenyan-Ugandan border for two years while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. I met some very good people during my multiple trips to Uganda. The Ugandan people are not the reason I'm questioning U.S. involvement there. The U.S. is still in an economic crisis that became full-blown in 2008 and still is impacting millions of Americans. Part of the reason for this crisis is our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, one that drains billions of tax dollars every month and has cost many American lives (lives that can not be measured in terms of tax dollars- these people our our family members, friends, and community members).
The Bush administration, with it's macho military posturing and misinformation, is gone. The United Nations with its international peace-keeping force is here. I feel that if the Obama administration feels strongly about the plight of the Ugandan people, as well it should, its representative in the United Nations should advocate involvement of U.N. peace keepers there. This, I personally feel, is a more appropriate response than sending U.S. military advisers to possibly draw our nation into a Vietnam-like quagmire.
Thank you for listening. I would be glad to read your opinions on the issue, and will try to keep an open mind.