President Obama just gave the nod in a letter to Congress to send 100 combat troops to the central Africa to help fight the Lord's Resistance Army. Obama frames the troop moves as a follow-up to a 2008 commitment and notes that the LRA "has murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men,women, and children in central Africa." The first group was deployed in Uganda on October 12 under orders to "act as advisors to partner forces tht have the goal of removing from the battlefield Joseph Kony and other senior leadership of the LRA," and Obama makes it clear that they're not there to fight:

However, although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense. All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of U.S. military personnel during their deployment.

This is the second time within the past three months that American boots have hit the ground in Africa. The lasting lessons of the failed 1993 mission in Somalia as depicted in Black Hawk Down make news of an actual deployment especially tricky.

Obama's full letter to Congress:

               TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
          TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
           AND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE
                         October 14, 2011
Dear Mr. Speaker:   (Dear Mr. President:)
For more than two decades, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)
has murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men,
women, and children in central Africa.  The LRA continues to
commit atrocities across the Central African Republic, the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan that have a
disproportionate impact on regional security.  Since 2008, the
United States has supported regional military efforts to pursue
the LRA and protect local communities.  Even with some limited
U.S. assistance, however, regional military efforts have thus
far been unsuccessful in removing LRA leader Joseph Kony or his
top commanders from the battlefield.  In the Lord's Resistance
Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, Public
Law 111-172, enacted May 24, 2010, the Congress also expressed
support for increased, comprehensive U.S. efforts to help
mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the LRA to civilians
and regional stability.
In furtherance of the Congress's stated policy, I have authorized
a small number of combat-equipped U.S. forces to deploy to
central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are
working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield.
I believe that deploying these U.S. Armed Forces furthers U.S.
national security interests and foreign policy and will be a
significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central
Africa.
On October 12, the initial team of U.S. military personnel with
appropriate combat equipment deployed to Uganda.  During the next
month, additional forces will deploy, including a second combat-
equipped team and associated headquarters, communications, and
logistics personnel.  The total number of U.S. military personnel
deploying for this mission is approximately 100.  These forces
will act as advisors to partner forces that have the goal of
removing from the battlefield Joseph Kony and other senior
leadership of the LRA.  Our forces will provide information,
advice, and assistance to select partner nation forces.  Subject
to the approval of each respective host nation, elements of these
U.S. forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central
African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The support provided by U.S. forces will enhance regional
efforts against the LRA.  However, although the U.S. forces are
combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice,
and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not
themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense.
All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety
of U.S. military personnel during their deployment.
I have directed this deployment, which is in the national
security and foreign policy interests of the United States,
pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign
relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.  I am
making this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress
fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public
Law 93-148).  I appreciate the support of the Congress in this
action.
                              Sincerely,
                              BARACK OBAMA