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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

February 22, 2013 - 12:48 pm

President Obama notified Congress today that there are now “approximately” 100 U.S. military personnel deployed to Niger to aid in the fight against Islamist forces in neighboring Mali.

Per the War Powers Act, Obama sent the notification to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate President Pro Tempore Pat Leahy (D-Vt.).

“On February 20, 2013, the last elements of a deployment of approximately 40 additional U.S. military personnel entered Niger with the consent of the Government of Niger. This deployment will provide support for intelligence collection and will also facilitate intelligence sharing with French forces conducting operations in Mali, and with other partners in the region,” Obama wrote.

“The total number of U.S. military personnel deployed to Niger is approximately 100. The recently deployed forces have deployed with weapons for the purpose of providing their own force protection and security.”

Obama said he directed the deployment “in furtherance of U.S. national security interests, and pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.”

Secretary of State John Kerry visits Paris on Wednesday “for meetings with senior French officials on our ongoing regional and global cooperation,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said earlier this week.

“And of course, we expect international support for Mali will be a central subject there,” she added.

There are currently about 4,500 French troops in Mali right now who have pushed back Islamist forces that had taken over much of the country. France has been firm about withdrawing those troops in early March and handing security over to the U.N.-backed African military force (AFISMA), which has about 3,800 boots on the ground in Mali.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (5)
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100 troops in an inherently unstable region, doing something the bad guys hate, what could possibly go wrong? And the neareast help is ...in Italy?

If we're going to send soldiers with a high profile mission into the Sahel, there should be enough of them to protect themselves.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Viet Niger.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Something is fishy here. U.S. News/NBC says the number is "250-300" and a "first wave" including Raptor and Predator drones.
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/22/17057398-obama-deploys-drones-us-military-personnel-to-niger?lite
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Approximately 100"? With numbers that low, he should be able to give an exact figure.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Isn't that just real nice of the President. Don't know why we bother to go and vote these folk's into office. They are useless to We The People and to the President who just waltz's over, around and through them as if they were not even there. Our One Man Army, Barrack Insane Obama.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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