Top Lawmakers Oppose US Troop Cuts in Africa

Esper wants to shift troops to Russia, China frontiers

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has been publicizing his intention to cut troops from Africa and send them to the areas around Russia and China for great power competition for some time. He is facing some pushback from Congress.

Efforts in recent years to brand the substantial US military position in Africa as being core to the global war on terrorism apparently stuck in the minds of a lot of lawmakers of both parties, who now say that the US can’t afford to withdraw those troops.

This increases the likelihood that Esper’s Pacific pivot will never happen. Already, his plans to cut troops from Iraq and send them seems dead, with President Trump bound and determined not to cut Iraq troop levels because Iraq wants them to.

The arguments on both sides are paper thin, either that the US needs to keep troops in Africa to be in Africa, or that they need to move them to China to do more to China. As Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) warned, if the US pulls troops out of Africa “then they will not be there.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.