The current mission deploying approximately 100, mainly U.S. special forces to Africa will be "short term" and not open-ended in nature, Obama administration officials told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Tuesday.
"We don't have a specific timetable, we are talking I think months, but I wouldn't put a number on it at this point," Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow told committee members.
President Barack Obama notified Congress earlier this month about the mission, as required under the War Powers Act. The U.S. troops are serving in a mostly advisory role to forces from Uganda, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic to assist them in dismantling the notorious Lord's Resistance Army and hunt down its elusive leader, Joseph Kony. The group has terrorized central Africa through its abduction of children to serve as soldiers in a campaign of rape, pillaging and murder over two decades.
While the mission does not call for the U.S. troops to engage in direct combat operations, they are carrying weapons to be used in self-defense should the need arise, which triggered the requirement to notify Congress of their deployment. Read More