While Republicans continue to attack President Obama for being soft on the War on Terror and apologizing to Islamic terrorists, the president has deployed 100 troops to Niger where the U.S. is setting up bases for drones to help the French fight Islamic forces in Mali, which is next door to Niger.
According to RT.com, the U.S. military is coordinating intelligence sharing with the French, whose forces are currently fighting to seize Islamist-controlled territory in Mali, President Obama announced on Friday.
In a letter to Congress, President Obama wrote: "The U.S. forces are armed with weapons for the purpose of providing their own force protection and security... I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution."
The announcement comes just a few weeks after the Nigerian Defense Ministry approved an airbase for unarmed American spy drones, which could be used in Mali to monitor Islamists in Mali, as well as monitor the flow of weapons and fighters from Libya (video below).
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in January that the U.S. would not get directly involved in the Mali conflict, but would provide transportation and intelligence-gathering assistance.
When France began its military action in January, the U.S. airlifted hundreds of French troops and equipment to Mali. The Obama administration agreed to fly tankers to refuel French jet fighters and bombers.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) recently expressed his frustration with U.S. involvement, claiming: "This is clearly developing into another war."