U.S. Commanders Cite Pandemic as They Pull Back Elite Units Around the World by Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Eric Schmitt - New York Times
American military commanders are using the restrictions imposed by the spread of the coronavirus to reshape the deployment of Special Operations troops all over the world, according to military officials. The decisions mean the withdrawal of elite commandos from some conflict zones and shuttering longstanding missions.
The directives, the officials said, serve two purposes: to reduce the strain on a small but often-deployed portion of the U.S. military after more than 18 years of war, and to contend with the risk of operating alongside local forces in countries flooded with the coronavirus.
These initiatives, started by a handful of generals, provide a preview of what the entire American military might look like in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis. The actions also reflect the thinking of some commanders who see the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic as an opportunity to streamline their forces, cut missions they view as unnecessary and reorient commandos to higher priority operations…