By The Independent Reporter
The Independent talked to two retired military officers; one from Britain, one from the United States. Both have worked for the Special Forces of their respective countries. According to these experts, the way UPDF employed its Special Forces in the operation demonstrated a lack of understanding of how such forces operate.
The job of Special Forces, experts say, is to spot the enemy, then move under total concealment within a short distance to where the enemy is camped.
They would have to spend days near the enemy camp to gather intelligence on the strength of the enemy; movements of the enemy; arms, ammunition and food depots; patterns of enemy behaviour observed over a period of two weeks to one month. In technical jargon, they are called spotters.
Under such conditions of total and complete concealment, the Special Forces dig trenches on which to live, eat special food and even pee and defaecate in polythene bags. Therefore, the UPDF should have sent its Special Forces to Garamba weeks in advance to surround Kony’s camps and carry out all the missions pointed out above.
‘Because UPDF’s Special Forces were not on the ground,’ the British expert said, ‘The air force lacked eyes. It was a blind operation. If you cannot get human eyes on the ground, then at least get technical eyes in form of a high powered satellite that can give live visual transmission of images from the enemy camp to your air force.’When the time of launching the operation comes, it would be the Special Forces on the ground that would radio army headquarters to tell them to launch the air raid. They would supply intelligence to the air force on where Kony’s hut is so that pilots can put it into the GPS coordinates of their MiG-21 bombers. This is what Israel has been doing in Gaza, giving their air force accuracy to search-and-destroy Hamas arms depots.
The American expert said that another option would have been to equip the Special Forces on the ground with laser beams. They would surround the camps and then call in the air force. If Kony hears the planes coming and begins to run, they would direct the laser beam on him as assault teams on Mi-24 helicopters on a search and destroy mission would chase and kill him. Indeed, when the air force bombs the camp, it creates panic as soldiers run in disarray. Under such circumstances, the work of Special Operations is to kill running soldiers.
In our next issue, Gen. David Tinyefuza, answers the critics of UPDF’s Operation Lightening Thunder: ‘They don’t understand military strategy,’ he says.