26 February 2013
President Obama has announced last Friday that about 100 American troops were sent to Niger to help set up a new base from which drones would conduct surveillance in the region. Niger has signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States (US) that has cleared the way for greater American military involvement in the country, and has provided legal protection to American troops there. The US troops would support the French-led operation in Mali.
Source: The New York Times | New Drone Base in Niger Builds U.S. Presence in Africa
13 January 2013
On 11 January 2013, President Barack Obama, after meeting with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, said that the United States (US) would accelerate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in the coming months, because of gains made by Afghan security forces.
After the NATO combat mission will end in 2014, the mission would be focused on advising and supporting Afghan troops, and targeting the remnants of Al Qaeda. Mr. Karzai said the United States had agreed to turn over control of the prisons that house terrorism suspects to Afghan control. He also said he would push for legal immunity for US soldiers – which is a requirement for the US to leave troops behind in Afghanistan.
Source: The New York Times | Obama Accelerates Transition of Security to Afghans