The United States is considering significantly reducing its military presence in West Africa and even completely withdrawing certain anti-terrorist troops. That’s what U.S. officials said today in The New York Times. The measure is part of a general redeployment of U.S. troops from the Pentagon.
According to the U.S. newspaper, the issue is currently being discussed internally in the Department of Defense. The U.S. Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, wants to review the U.S. military position around the world. The Pentagon would especially like to break away from anti-terrorism emissions in order to better focus on priorities such as China and Russia.
In the first phase, there would be a withdrawal in Africa, where some 6,000 to 7,000 soldiers are stationed in the west, but also in the east, especially in Somalia. The American withdrawal would be a major blow to the French forces in conflict with jihadist groups in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. American support in these countries would amount to some 45 million dollars per year.
The African countries in question are currently facing a resurgence of jihadist violence that killed 71 Nigerian soldiers in an attack on 10 December. A few days earlier, 13 French soldiers died in a helicopter crash in a conflict zone in Mali.