WASHINGTON – The commander of U.S. Africa Command says he would like to be granted more authority to battle al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia.
Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday that it would be "very helpful" to be given more flexibility in combatting al-Shabad militants, both directly and through local partner forces.
He said this would allow him to deliver airstrikes in a more timely way.
The Associated Press has previously reported that recommendations for such expanded authorities have been sent to the White House.
Waldhauser said he already has held detailed discussions to ensure that expanded U.S. military operations in Somalia would not jeopardize the work of international civilian groups combatting famine.