President Donald Trump has ordered that the majority of American troops stationed in Somalia be withdrawn and moved by early 2021, the latest in his many moves toward reducing foreign entanglements and commitments for America’s fighting men and women.
The U.S. presence will be maintained, not removed to home, but will operate consolidated with forces in neighboring nations, it seems.
“The President of the United States has ordered the Department of Defense and the United States Africa Command to reposition the majority of personnel and assets out of Somalia by early 2021,” reads the information release from the Pentagon. “The U.S. is not withdrawing or disengaging from Africa. We remain committed to our African partners and enduring support through a whole-of-government approach.”
Hey you can’t have everything all at once, but this is a big move. The mission in Somalia has centered mostly on training Somali forces in fighting the war on terror.
President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to remove most of the its about 700 troops in Somalia working to assist the East African nation’s military with its long battle against al-Shabab terrorists. https://t.co/AdZSgUZMzT
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) December 4, 2020
“While a change in force posture, this action is not a change in U.S. policy,” says the Pentagon. “We will continue to degrade violent extremist organizations that could threaten our homeland while ensuring we maintain our strategic advantage in great power competition.”
Considering how we’ve been whupping on terror organizations for the last four years, it is no surprise that our posture and policy wouldn’t change, but that we can relieve some of the active engagement in some locations.
Importantly, our military “will retain the capability to conduct targeted counterterrorism operations in Somalia, and collect early warnings and indicators regarding threats to the homeland.”
Header image: U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Micah Theurich, licensed under CC BY 2.0