Two days ago, the U.S. deployed combat troops to central Africa to serve as advisers to regional forces battling the Lord’s Resistance Army. News of the deployment came a few minutes ago in a letter dated today from President Obama to John Boehner (R-OH), speaker of the House, and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), president pro tempore of the Senate. The letter was released publicly by the White House.
A total of 100 combat-equipped troops will eventually be deployed, with the rest being dispatched in the next month, according to the letter. “However, although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense,” Obama writes.
We’ll have more on this surprise move and what exactly the LRA is shortly.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.