This is an unequivocal good thing. Kony is the worst kind of small bore war criminal, a local madman who kidnaps and indoctrinates children, using them to intimidate, murder, mutilate and rape the local rural populations throughout multiple Central African nations. Almost unbelievably brutal, his forces stay on the move, stealing what they need, committing horrific crimes in the process.
Sure, the US is an economic basket case, with flat GDP growth, near 20% real unemployment, increasing poverty and crumbling infrastructure, but we have a tremendous amount of military capability sitting idle, and this is one of those opportunities where the US can apply some of those military resources to try to solve a real-world humanitarian problem without causing additional unforeseen geopolitical problems.
A company of Rangers with some associated air and intelligence assets doesn’t even constitute a rounding error on the budget, and yet that tiny injection of twenty first century combat power changes the calculation for the entire region, and might offer the best chance for a blighted people to finally rid themselves of this madman.
Even in present circumstances, the US is the most economically and militarily powerful nation in the world. There is much good the US could do, from disease control to agriculture to education, but there is a tremendous lack of political will for projects like that, not only in the global south, but even here in America there are hard and fast limits to our willingness to direct public resources at these sorts of problems. Oddly, however, the US has always been willing to deploy military resources regardless of cost - as long as the solution required highly professional and technologically advanced killing, we were at the head of the line of volunteers. Many times, those projects benefited despots, or resulted in such an unimaginable slaughter as to render the accomplishment of the original goal Pyrrhic.
Within these odd and arbitrary constraints, perhaps humanitarian military intervention is the best we can do. If we helped with clean water and schools and roads and digital communications it would be a better thing, but with our dysfunctional political system controlled by authoritarians and racists, perhaps the best we can do is agree on who the bad guys are, and then kill them.
So either the Obama administration is finally acknowledging reality, or they are trying a last-ditch hardball tactic to attempt to frighten the Iraqis into backing down and asking for a continued US presence. There are a lot of factions in postwar Iraq, and some of them depend quite heavily on the US military to enforce their positions and protect their lives. Many would like to see the US military continue to operate in Iraq, but it is politically unwise (except for the Kurds) to say so out loud.
The invasion of Iraq was a monumental blunder for the US, one we will be paying for in a variety of ways for many years to come. But it's important to remember that the Iraqis paid a much higher price for our blunder, and will be trying to recover from it for the better part of a century. There is nothing to be gained by staying, no fences will be mended and no interest served beyond the desperate grip on power that those who played along now find growing tenuous. It's well past time to cut the cord...