House Military Spending Bill Would Limit Troop Drawdowns in Africa, South Korea

Would require Pentagon to draft reports on costs of drawdowns

The House Armed Services Committee is working up next year’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the huge military spending bill. As always they’ll spend more than they can really afford, but also on the table are ways to keep the US from doing any meaningful troop cuts.

Reports that Defense Secretary Mark Esper wants to cut troops in Africa to shift them to China were already being questioned by Congress, which has been sold the idea of troops in Africa being vital. Trump is also mulling troop cuts in South Korea.

The NDAA notably doesn’t mention recently announced cuts in Germany, but is demanding Pentagon reports on the cost and implication of troop drawdowns well in advance, presumably so Congress can block the cuts.

This is probably going to follow the path with South Korea, where Congress already prohibits funding to cut the number of troops in South Korea. As the Trump Administration pushes more South Korea funding, the threat of cuts is likely to remain a big part of Congress ensuring that the president doesn’t do anything unilaterally.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.