For six years, a U.S. Special Forces team waged psychological warfare against a murderous warlord. Here’s how they won.
In 2011, the Obama administration had a big problem. A violent rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, led by warlord Joseph Kony, was terrorizing portions of South Sudan, the Congo, the Central African Republic, and particularly Uganda. Kony had kidnapped more than 60 children, many of whom he had pressed into service as fighters. The administration was seeing rising public concern…and there was an election coming.
Like previous administrations, they turned to a small team of elite soldiers that (they hoped) could tackle the problem quietly, in a way that could minimize the overt U.S. presence and keep costs down: the U.S. Army’s Special Forces.
As part of a broader Special Forces effort, experts in Military Information Support Operations, or MISO, undertook a unique mission: disintegrating the Lord’s Resistance Army by finding key members of Kony’s gang and persuading them to defect.