House Bill Would Ban Trump Removing Any Troops From Africa

Pentagon is in the process of troop level reviews, wants to redeploy elsewhere

US troop levels in Africa have become a massive political issue this year, with the Pentagon talking about some troop cuts to put them elsewhere, and years of AFRICOM claims that the US vitally needed in Africa for the global war on terror still having currency even though AFRICOM has stopped pushing that narrative.

Congressional Democrats are now opposing those troop transfers because the old narrative doesn’t match with the new narrative, which ironically was an even older Asia pivot plan that the Pentagon previously had to abandon to put the troops in Africa.

A bill sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) is being introduced which would forbid any money being spent removing any US troops from Africa in a way that would reduce overall troop levels. That means troop rotations can happen, but the 5,200 US troops in Africa must remain throughout the year.

The bill further demands unclassified reports on the impact of withdrawing troops from Africa, as well as reports on China’s growing influence in Africa. The assumption is that all of this will harm the case for a troop transfer.

The constitutionality of such a bill is uncertain. Though troop levels are often a political issue, and Congress does have a say on major overseas deployments, it is not well established that Congress can forbid a deployment from ending, keeping the troops in Africa just because it doesn’t want the president to withdraw them.



Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.