White House Gives Congress Overseas Troop Levels, Omits Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan

Confirms a 'small number' of US troops in Yemen

The White House has offered a letter to Congress detailing US military presences around the world, and in some cases offering legal justifications for having troops there. Despite claiming the letter meant to show their commitment to keeping Congress informed, it also had some conspicuous absences.

The three biggest US wars, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, all managed to not include any troop levels in the letter. There was no specific reason given within the letter for not providing those numbers, which includes tens of thousands of troops.

President Trump has at times claimed that troop levels in those countries are “classified,” and that the enemy must never know how many US troops are there. Even if the administration using this as a pretext for keeping troop levels from the American public, it’s not clear how they can keep the troop levels from Congress.

Most of the figures aren’t surprising. One noteworthy thing is that it mentions US troops in Saudi Arabia and Yemen who are involved in “combating the Houthi insurgency in Yemen.” This is important because the Pentagon told the Senate before a recent vote on Yemen that no US troops were involved in the Yemen War.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.