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President Obama's decision to send up to 300 troops to Cameroon while at the same time rebuffing calls for more military engagement in the Middle East is indicative of his view on U.S. intervention abroad, experts say.

"This administration likes to deploy troops to places where there are very few costs," said the Cato Institute's Benjamin Friedman, referring to both expenses and potential causalities. Obama is a "limited-liability interventionist," he said.

In more than six years as commander in chief, Obama has not practiced restraint in accepting missions for the United States military, but he has proven very "dovish" in terms of treasury and lives expended, Friedman said.

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On no continent has that been more evident than Africa. Obama has deployed personnel to at least 14 African nations. Their missions have ranged from tracking down Ugandan war lord and war criminal Joseph Kony (still at large) to finding Nigeria schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram (most still missing) to fighting Ebola (a mission widely seen as a success).

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