Small Wars Journal

Esper Won't Rule Out Troop Drawdown in Africa as France Urges Troops to Stay

Tue, 01/28/2020 - 12:17am

Esper Won't Rule Out Troop Drawdown in Africa as France Urges Troops to Stay by Richard Sisk -

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that U.S. strategic goals could include drawing down troops in Africa despite French pleas that American support is "critical" to countering the growing strength of terror groups in the region with links to the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

"My aim is to adjust our footprint in many places," including Africa, to free up forces for a "great power competition" against China and Russia, he said at a joint Pentagon news conference with French Defense Minister Florence Parly.

Esper said no final decisions have been made on withdrawing the estimated 6,000 U.S. troops in Africa, but said the priority must be either to bring the troops home or reposition them for a possible great power conflict…

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U.S. Noncommittal on Keeping Troops in Africa by Jeff Seldin – Voice of America

The United States is refusing to rule out shrinking the size of its military presence in Africa despite warnings that without Washington's help, critical counterterror efforts could fall apart.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly delivered the latest plea for continued U.S. involvement in the counterterror fight Monday during talks with top U.S. military officials at the Pentagon.

But following the meeting, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Washington had to take into account other urgent priorities…

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