Small Wars Journal

AFRICOM Commander's Testimony Before the House Armed Services Committee

African Terrorist Groups ‘Aren’t Necessarily a Threat to the Homeland,’ AFRICOM Leader Says by Kyle Rempfer - Military Times



U.S. Africa Command’s counter-terrorism mission is facing some troop cuts, which has lawmakers wondering how that will impact the safety of the American homeland from terrorist groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State’s regional loyalists.


The answer is probably not much.


One problem AFRICOM faces is characterizing the threats the organization faces, Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, AFRICOM commander, told the House Armed Services Committee Thursday.


“The threats we are working against aren’t necessarily a threat to the homeland and may not be a threat to the region overall," Waldhauser said.


That fact is one of the reasons the Defense Department tasked AFRICOM to optimize its forces, and cut unnecessary missions…

Read on.


AFRICOM Commander Calls for Diplomatic Push in Africa as US Pulls Troops from Continent by John Vandiver - Stars & Stripes

The United States needs higher level political engagement in Africa to counter China’s growing influence even as the military cuts back troop levels on the continent, U.S. Africa Command’s commander told lawmakers Thursday.

About 300 counterterrorism troops have been pulled from Africa in connection with a strategy shift that calls for more focus on great-power competition, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser said during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.

Despite the Pentagon-ordered troop cutbacks, Waldhauser said he has “adequate” forces to carry out his mission and special operations troops in Libya and Somalia were unaffected by the drawdown. Instead, the reductions centered on regions where there was no clear threat to the U.S. homeland, he said. And in Niger, where four U.S. soldiers were killed in a 2017 ambush, special operations troops have shifted away from ground patrols to advising forces at a battalion headquarters level and even remotely, Waldhauser said…

Read on.