Earlier this month, President Obama sent 100 American troops to Central Africa to help and advise government forces fighting Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The operation has been met with a variety of reactions in Washington. Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee reviewed the decision and received an update on the military's progress.
In a letter to Congress, the President said the initial troops would be deployed to South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo "subject to the approval of each respective host nation." He also said that the purpose of the operation is to provide assistance to regional forces in the “removal of (LRA Leader) Joseph Kony from the battlefield.”
The Committee took a closer look at the operation in a hearing titled "Deployment of U.S. Forces in Central Africa and Implementation of The Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act."
Republicans, including Senator John McCain (R-AZ), said in a statement that promoting African stability by reducing the LRA threat was a "worthy goal" but Obama should have consulted Congress before putting forces "into harm's way."
Witnesses included officials related to the operation including Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto. He testified alongside Assistant Defense Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow.