If the Obama administration gets its way, African troops in Mali will get $32 million dollars from the U.S. taxpayers to help them deal with the Islamic radicals. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed on Friday that a request has been made to Congress.
The U.S. considers terrorist organizations al-Shabaab, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram to be the primary threats in the region.
The Associated Press reports that at this point the United States is not providing any direct aid to the Malian government; its democratically elected president was overthrown in a coup in 2012.
Currently, French air power has been primarily used to strike Islamists inside Mali’s northern desert, and ultimately the government plans to deploy roughly 2,500 troops to aid the effort. U.S. support has been relegated to a secondary role.
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