Closing Thought–16Jan20

I read a post by a fellow blogger and friend John about the troops in West Africa and thought I would expand on his thought.  https://linesbyliming.com/2020/01/15/islamist-militants-threaten-africa/

After several deaths of US troops in West Africa and the scandals of Americans killing Americans in drunken stupors the Pentagon is considering pulling US troops from West Africa…..

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper is interested in seeing a substantial reduction in troops and operations ongoing in Western Africa, with the troops being redeployed to areas closer to Russia and China.

This comes, ironically, amid speculation about the Islamist factions in the Sahel, and suggestions this might be a growing priority for the US. Esper, however, has made much of wanting to have more troops directly lined up against Russia and China for “Great Power” competitions.

Among the pullouts in West Africa would be ending US operations in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. The end of US involvement in Niger would include abandoning the $110 million drone base that the US just got finished building and bringing into operation.

After West Africa, the plan is that the US will also draw down forces in Latin America, and subsequently then cut troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, all as part of a new pivot to Eastern Europe and the Pacific.

Exactly how many troops are going to be involved isn’t clear, and indeed how many troops are in some of these areas is not publicly known any longer, given the Pentagon’s recent opacity on such figures.

The eagerness to make such moves at all represents Esper having only recently taken over the Defense Secretary post, and wanting to put his stamp on it.

(antiwar.com)

I thought this was just wishful thinking but now a top general is calling for the same thing…..

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters on Monday that the US intends to reduce its military presence within Africa, saying its possible the troops could either return to the continental US or be shifted to the Pacific.

Shifting troops to the Pacific is a long-standing goal of the US military, but has tended to get derailed as plans to draw down forces elsewhere fall apart. It’s not clear exactly how many troops the US have in Africa, but Milley is just the latest to say they could end up in the Pacific.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper talked about drawdowns in Africa, Afghanistan, and Iraq to get troops to send to the areas near China and Russia. The US, however, is resisting the Iraq pullout now, since Iraq wants it.

France is opposed to the US drawdown, since they are increasingly committed militarily to the Sahel, and are keen to have the US participate in those open-ended operations.

(antiwar.com)

I would like to see these troops come home but for the reasons I have mentioned many times before…..but just a passing thought to gain some attention is not the way to position one self as a person of power and knowledge.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

7 thoughts on “Closing Thought–16Jan20

  1. Walking away from a $110 million drone base. They could have built a few hospitals in the US with that money. A shameful waste!
    Best wishes, Pete.

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