The Pentagon says it does not intend to put troops on the ground in Mali to assist in the ground operations against al-Qaida-backed militants, but it is supporting France in other ways.
Speaking at the Pentagon Tuesday, press secretary George Little said the United States strongly supports the French operation in Mali, and the Pentagon will continue to assess what support the French will need in the future.
The Pentagon is also moving toward setting up a military base in northwest Africa from which it can operate surveillance drones to monitor militants in the region.
Little said al-Qaida poses a threat to the region and U.S. interests, and that is why the military is taking steps to work with partners in the region to thwart them.
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