Small Wars Journal

Mattis Cuts U.S. Troop Numbers in Africa by 10 Percent

DoD is Stretched Thin and Plans to Pull Back in Africa by Tara Copp – Military Times

On the heels of a national report that the U.S. military lacks the global resources to meet China or Russia in a potential future conflict, the Pentagon began some belt-tightening, announcing a long-anticipated reduction in forces for U.S. Africa Command.

“As the department implements the [National Defense Strategy] to maintain our global military advantage, we are moving to a more resource-sustainable approach with our counter violent extremist organization campaign,” Pentagon spokeswoman Navy Cmdr. Candice Tresch said in a statement.

The military has about 7,200 forces deployed in Africa, and will cut about 10 percent of those forces over the next few years, Tresch said…

Read on.

Mattis Cuts U.S. Troop Numbers in Africa by 10 Percent by Carla Babb - VOA News

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is cutting hundreds of U.S. troops from Africa so he can use those resources for potential future conflicts with Russia and China.

Pentagon spokeswoman Navy Cmdr. Candice Tresch told VOA the move will cut roughly 700 counterterrorism troops and their enablers from West Africa. That is about 10 percent of U.S. Africa Command's presence on the continent.

"Operations in Libya, Somalia and Djibouti remain largely unchanged," she said.

The Pentagon's new National Defense Strategy (NDS) emphasizes near-peer competition over counterterrorism…

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Comments

The first thing that we must acknowledge, I suggest, is that:

a.  Just because the expansionist U.S./the West today has both great nations and small opponents, and indeed has both state and non-state actors opponents (this, much as the expansionist Soviets/the communist did during the Old Cold War?), 

b.  This does not mean that the expansionist U.S./the West of today (or, indeed, the expansionist Soviets/the communists of old?) is (was) engaged in two different conflicts or "wars." 

Rather, much like the expansionist Soviets/the communists of old, likewise today with the expansionist U.S./the West, we are (much as they were): 

a.  Engaged in a single conflict or "war;" this:

b.  Against a diverse landscape (composed of both great nations and small, and both state and non-state actors) of "resisting transformation" opponents.

All of whom (in both the expansionist Soviet/communist case of old and in the expansionist U.S./Western case of today) are:  

a.  Engaged in "resisting transformation" (or, if you prefer, "containment") efforts, herein:

b.  Using whatever means (for example: "terrorism" for the smaller state and non-state actors; unconventional and the threat of conventional warfare in the case of the larger state actors) to achieve their (common in both cases) "resistance to transformation"/"containment of the expansionist great power" goals.

Now that we have this (proper?) understanding of our "conflict environment" before us, what now do we think:

a.  Re: this single war

b.  Of our decision to move assets from one theater to another (to wit: away from our much weaker "resisting transformation" opponents and toward our much stronger "resisting transformation" opponents)?