Many inside the Beltway feared the mission, in which American special forces would support Ugandan forces in their war against the Lord’s Resistance Army, could be a first step into a protracted conflict in Africa.
But advise and assist missions like the one in Uganda may become the new normal for the U.S. military, as the Pentagon tries to find a way maintain the military’s global presence in the face of massive budget cuts.
These types of missions, by and large, are much cheaper to conduct compared to full-blown combat operations. They also allow U.S. forces to retain footholds in a number of global hot spots without sustaining and having to pay for a large force presence.
One of Esli’s first posts here was about the structure of these Advise and Assist Brigades. My poor access means I can’t find it, but you should be able to search for it here. (Roamy sez: found it, linked it.)