Obama: Our Mission in Niger Has Begun
At least 100 military personnel stationed next to Mali
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2013 6:01 PM CST
In this Feb. 15, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – President Obama told Congress today that he has sent troops to Niger to support France's mission against militants in neighboring Mali, Reuters reports. But the deployment of about 100 military personnel will only set up a base for unarmed aircraft to conduct surveillance, he wrote in a letter. He didn't explicitly reference drones, but NBC News—which numbers the first wave of personnel at 250 to 300—reports that two surveillance drones will initially be stationed there.

The move marks the beginning of another far-flung military mission for the US and a deeper commitment to battling terror in north Africa, the New York Times reports. Until this week, America's only permanent base in Africa was in Djibouti, some 3,000 miles from Mali—where French and African troops have won back northern cities but allowed militants to melt back into the desert. The militants have continued a small-scale campaign of suicide bombings, guard-post attacks, and the like.

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Feb 23, 2013 9:26 PM CST
There was a lady in Niger. Who wanted to ride on the tiger They ended the ride. With the lady inside And a smile on the face of the tiger! America is going for a ride? I would like the congress to be notified first please, and put the proposal for a vote.. And let the public know where is the money for such affair is going to come from....
Feb 23, 2013 6:43 PM CST
HEY OBUMA.... Why do you sidestep Congress AND the wishes of the people, and create your own intanglement with another country ?... Are you feeling a brain surge of Hitlerism? Your LIES tell all, you told Congress you sent only 100 of our boys to die in Africa, NBC news states you sent 250-300. Ruters reports you sent over 600 to start another war. WE ARE SICK OF YOUR WARMONGER MEDDLING IN ANOTHER COUNTRY, WITHOUT CONGRESS AND THE PEOPLE"S APPROVAL .
Feb 23, 2013 2:18 PM CST
Hey, Barack! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Another theatre to transfer taxpayers' money into the hands of the war machine corporates! Lockheed & Northrop love ya!