Trump Mulling Near-Total Withdrawal of US Forces From Somalia Amid Global Pullback, Report Suggests

Africa

Following to removal of US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the Pentagon and acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller have announced a withdrawal of thousands of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, leaving around 2,500 residual personnel in both countries.

US President Donald Trump is reportedly looking to withdraw nearly all US military personnel from Somalia as part of a global pullout that is slated to see a decline in American forces in Afghanistan and a reportedly smaller withdrawal from Iraq.

Citing anonymous US officials, Reuters reported Tuesday that Miller, who previously served as director of the National Counterterrorism Center, is seeking to carry out a near-total withdrawal of the roughly 700 US troops in Somalia, who have been stationed in the East African country to combat local al-Shabaab militants.

“It would create a vacuum. The Somali security forces have good morale because of the US troops … there’s the possibility of air support if they are attacked, they can have medevacs,” he declared.

However, no finalized decisions have been made, and no orders have been delivered to US military leadership regarding Somalia, according to the US officials who spoke to Reuters.

“This is consistent with our established plan and strategic objectives,” he argued, hours after informing members of the US Congress of the decision. 

Many US officials and allies have expressed concern over the…

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