US announced Wednesday they have to reduce their military presence in Africa.
The US military has decided to reduce combat in West African battle fields of Sahel against local groups after much expenditure on war waging.
The first change will see part of one infantry unit, around 800 troops, replaced with a similar number of military trainers and advisors to support local forces in “spotlight African countries,” Defense Department officials said.
The US Army Africa commander Major General Roger Cloutier said in this respect that the Us army is not leaving the continent and that their friends “needn’t worry”.
The move is the first resulting from a sweeping Pentagon rethinking of US interventionism around the world in an effort to reduce costs.
But the Pentagon is also wary of leaving a vacuum in certain areas, like in Africa, for the Chinese and Russians to fill, which could give them strategically valuable footholds.
The troops reduction comes after the release earlier this week of a quarterly report by the inspectors general for the Pentagon, State Department and USAID - the first to be unclassified as interest surges in the US military’s activities in Africa.
The US depends especially on French and various African partner forces in West Africa in field operations, but the US strategy has changed from battle since they have drastically failed in all fields against local fighters.
US has about 6,000 military personnel throughout Africa, including 800 in West Africa, 500 Special Forces in Somalia and an unspecified number at an air base in Niger.
France recently announced it would increase its troop presence in the Sahel to more than 5,000 and has started arming its drones, while French leaders have urged the U.S. against cutting its military presence.