Issue Brief: Intelligence Needs in the Hunt for the LRA

From Enough blogs Fri Feb 22 2013, 07:25:46

With operations by the Lord's Resistance Army spanning several countries and swaths of dense jungle, hunting down the rebels requires excellent real-time intelligence-something long deficient in the efforts to bring the LRA to an end. In a new issue brief published by the Enough Project, LRA analyst. Ashley Benner, offers six reasons why intelligence about the LRA is difficult to collect and suggests six ways that the U.S. could address this challenge. The brief is the second in a series detailing the main obstacles to success in the hunt against the LRA and explains what steps the U.S. and its partners should take to redouble their efforts.

The challenge of collecting and applying adequate intelligence is driven by many forces. For example, the LRA fighters operate over a vast area in terrain that they know well and can maneuver in easily. Additionally, their operating structure, cells of 5-30 soldiers, makes them difficult to track, especially when trying to leverage aerial imagery through densely forested regions. The number of troops focused on tracking and ending the LRA also needs to be increased. Currently, only 2,860 troops make up the African Union Regional Task Force tracking and hunting the group, and only the Ugandan force is actively pursuing the LRA. The A.U. Task Force needs permission to operate in all areas where the LRA seeks refuge, including Kafia Kingi on the Sudan-South Sudan border. To respond to these challenges, the U.S. should take the following steps

urge LRA-affected countries to deploy more troops for this effort;

enhance the collection of human intelligence by working with local community groups in areas where the LRA is known to or has a history of operating;

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