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Administration Reveals a Bit About Its War on Terrorists

June 15 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama sent a public report to Congress today confirming that the U.S. is conducting military operations against al-Qaeda in Yemen and Somalia and counter-terrorism operations in Central Africa.

The U.S. has deployed “combat-equipped forces to assist in enhancing” counter-terrorism capabilities “of our friends and allies, including special operations and other forces for sensitive operations in various locations around the world,” the administration said in the letter to Congress posted on the White House website.

Those operations include direct U.S. military operations against forces allied with al-Qaeda in Somalia and in conjunction with the government in Yemen, according to the White House statement addressed to House of Representatives and Senate.

The U.S. also has deployed about 90 military personnel to Uganda to assist local forces to “apprehend or remove” Joseph Kony a leader of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, according to the White House statement.

The report to Congress doesn’t offer details of military operations and doesn’t mention the role of U.S. intelligence agencies around the world. It doesn’t discuss drone strikes in Pakistan, which are a source of tension with that country, and it reveals less about a covert operation in Yemen, the White House role in targeting drone strikes, and covert operations in Africa than administration officials have disclosed to reporters recently.

Congress Complains

Lawmakers in both political parties have complained that the Obama administration recently has selectively leaked classified information on military and intelligence operations to select media outlets. Attorney General Eric Holder on June 9 named two federal prosecutors to investigate possible administration leaks of classified information.

Obama has rejected the lawmakers’ claims that the administration leaked classified information to boost the president’s re-election prospects.

Today’s report to Congress includes information on military operations around the world “owing to their growing significance in our overall counterterrorism effort,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement.

The report and its contents were first reported by the Associated Press.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gopal Ratnam in Washington at gratnam1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at jwalcott9@bloomberg.net

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