Iowa Senator Tom Harkin isn’t yet sold on the military plan unveiled by President Obama on Wednesday for the U.S. to help locate and rescue more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian girls. The president is sending 80 U.S. troops to the neighboring African nation of Chad where a terrorist group may be holding the girls, who were taken from their school in Nigeria more than a month ago.
At first glance, Harkin says it’s encouraging the U.S. is taking action. “This is a situation where we ought to be working in a multi-lateral level to do all we can to secure their safe return to their families and their communities,” according to Harkin.
While the president is obligated to inform Congressional leaders he’s sending armed troops to another country, many details of the mission are being kept classified, which Harkin says raises questions. “Whether or not introducing troops is the right measure right now, I’m uncertain,” Harkin says. “I don’t know if those troops are going to be combined with other U.N. forces or other nations’ troops, I don’t know that yet. I would be concerned if it’s just us doing it.”
The militant group that snatched the girls at gunpoint is known as Boko Haram. There’s speculation the girls may have been taken to Chad, Cameroon or they may still be in Nigeria. The U.S. operation will reportedly involve reconnaissance flights over parts of several countries. U.S. Predator drones will also reportedly be used.