Invoking the War Powers Act, President Obama informed Congress today that he is deploying 300 ground troops and drones to the West African nation of Cameroon on a mission aimed at helping governments tamp down a “regional Muslim anti-colonial movement.”
The White House says the deployment is going to be part of “a broader regional effort” and that the mission is totally open-ended, with the troops to remain until they are “no longer needed” in the country, though as usual they declined to lay out what this situation would look like.
In the notification to Congress, President Obama suggested fighting Boko Haram would be a big part of this operation, and that the intention is for the troops and drones to conduct “intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations in the region.”
The War Powers Act requires the president to inform Congress and seek an authorization for the use of military force whenever he sends troops abroad like this. Though today’s statement informed Congress, there is as yet no indication a vote is forthcoming on this latest overseas adventure. This may ultimately not be a problem for the administration, however, as President Obama has repeatedly spurned this requirement in recent wars, and Congress has not made any serious effort to enforce the law.