Defense Sec Mike Esper wants to shift American military assets from developing countries back to Cold War engagements….
Ever since the Bush presidencies American troops have stationed in several continents as eyes and ears and ‘advisors’ to countries that are fighting insurgencies ….
Since 9/11 American Special Operations units have operated in those regions to keep checks on terrorists that escaped the Middle East….
Now we have an Defense Sec in the Pentagon looking to undo the sprawling American presence are the globe to concentrate back solely on Russia and China, two countries his boss Donald Trump , has a love/hate relationship with…
Esper’s efforts are NOT making Congress and his own troops happy, who just got over a move top remove troops from Syria and Afghanistan , only to have more troops ending up going back….
Africa Command is the first of the Pentagon’s global fighting commands to come under what is being called a “blank slate” review. There are about 6,000 to 7,000 American troops in Africa, with the largest numbers concentrated in the sub-Saharan region and in the Horn of Africa. In Somalia, there are about 500 Special Operations troops fighting the Shabab — a Qaeda-linked terrorist group — from small outposts alongside local troops.
Mr. Esper’s proposed cuts would most likely focus on the several hundred troops now deployed in countries like Niger, Chad and Mali. The Air Force recently started flying Reaper drone missions from the new base, known as Air Base 201, near Agadez, Niger.
In the past year, the Pentagon has shrunk its forces in Africa by reducing several hundred Special Operations troops on the continent as part of the troop shift
Ahead of their impending reviews, some commands are taking steps to promote their troops’ operations. Southern Command, which oversees missions in Latin America, is now publishing a weekly digital newsletter. A recent bulletin mentioned the deployment of a Navy plane to help search for a missing Chilean Air Force plane as well as the participation in a disaster-relief exercise with Panamanian troops.
For Central Command, the proposed cuts in Afghanistan and Iraq would follow significant cuts already made in northeastern Syria: Troops there were reduced to 1,000 from 2,000. The order — an effort to follow the president’s demands to withdraw all American troops from the region — was later partly reversed to help prevent ISIS from recapturing valuable oil fields….
One could assume that Esper is carrying out Trump’s view that countries that do NOT ‘pay’ for help and protection ‘ don’t get it….
Trump’s policy seems awfully shortsighted …