US to trim Africa forces

Lester Mason
November 16, 2018

The Pentagon will trim the number of USA troops deployed across Africa as it concentrates more on countering threats from Great Power competitors Russian Federation and China, officials said Thursday.

"It might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russian Federation".

However, counter-terrorism activities in several countries including Somalia and Djibouti will remain largely the same.

A USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the reduction of troops would likely take place over three years and could include countries like Kenya, Cameroon and Mali.

There will now be a shift away from tactical assistance to advising and sharing intelligence in West Africa, the Pentagon said.

The planned 10% cut from US Africa Command's total force of 7 200 troops will be carried out over several years, the Pentagon said in a brief statement.

A military official said an attack in Niger in October 2017 in which four United States troops were killed did not play a role in the decision to cut troops, the Voice of America reports.

The Pentagon is concerned about an increasingly resurgent Russian Federation, which has flexed its military muscle in conflicts like those in Ukraine and Syria.

The strategy document described China as a strategic competitor using "predatory economics" to intimidate its neighbors while militarising areas in the South China Sea.

The Pentagon move comes as China and Russian Federation look to increase their influence in Africa.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union forged close military and diplomatic ties with many African countries. After the USSR collapsed, Russian Federation tried to revive some of the old relations. Since 2014, Russian Federation has signed 19 military cooperation deals with sub-Saharan African nations, including Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, according to information made public by Russia's foreign and defence ministries. In 2017, the African nation of Djibouti became the host of Beijing's first military base outside China.

- The report, composed by a bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission selected by Congress, suggests that a likely US military campaign against the Russian military in Northern Europe or with China over the island of Taiwan would yield "enormous" losses of both military personnel and "capital assets" (ships, aircraft, and other vehicles) for the United States. The charge sheets accuse the troops of breaking into Army Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar's bedroom, tying him with duct tape and strangling him by placing him in a chokehold.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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