- November 23, 2011
- News & Analysis
November 24th marks one year since President Obama released his comprehensive strategy on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). And later this week, we expect to receive an official report from the Obama Administration on what it has done during that time, as was required by last year’s LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. Together with our friends at Enough and Invisible Children, we’ve released another report card to share our own evaluation of the President’s efforts to implement his historic LRA strategy to date, the third and final issue of the year.
As the report card shows, President Obama took a huge step forward when he deployed 100 advisers to assist regional governments in their attempts to apprehend senior LRA commanders and protect civilians. He went from a “D” to an “A-.” As the “homework” section of the report card points out, now we would like to see the President “work with his senior officials to improve collaboration between the Ugandan and Congolese governments on counter-LRA efforts; this includes ensuring the appointment of a capable Special Adviser for the Great Lakes region who reports directly to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.” Without the proper follow-through, the deployment of these advisers won’t be successful in helping achieve an end to immediate LRA violence.
There are several other issues that also demand President Obama’s engagement, such as expanding civilian early warning systems and encouraging members of the LRA to escape and return home. Mobile phone and radio networks are crucial to such efforts, and funding the expansion of these networks should be more of a priority for the U.S.
Below are President Obama’s grades in a nutshell, but take a look at the full Report Card to get the complete rundown on what the President has been doing and what he needs to do next. (You can also check out report cards #1 and #2 to get the full picture since November of last year.)
|Element of Implementation||President Obama’s Grade|
|Expanded US involvement to end the crisis||A-|
|Protection of Civilians||C+|
|Stop senior LRA commanders||B|
|Facilitate escape from the LRA||D|
|Help affected communities survive and rebuild||B|
The Grading for President Obama’s LRA Strategy & Implementation:
A = Significant progress B = Encouraging progress C = Little or inadequate progress
D = Efforts at a standstill F = Efforts backsliding