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  • U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to devise a plan for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Somalia.

    U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to devise a plan for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Somalia. | Photo: Twitter/@anadoluagency

Published 14 October 2020
Opinion

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to draw up plans to withdraw all US troops from Somalia, just three weeks before the November 3 elections, as reported Wednesday by Stars and Stripes newspaper.

Trump discussed with his top advisors, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, the possible reduction of the number of uniforms in the East African nation, the newspaper added.

There are currently some 800 U.S. military and civilian employees in Somalia, including units of the Special Operations Forces. They are there under the pretext of helping the U.S. military fight the al-Shabab terrorist group. However, according to experts, their presence aims to carry out Washington's hegemonic aspirations on the continent.

A communiqué sent to Stars and Stripes by the spokesman for that command, Kelly Cahalan, indicates that "the Africa Command (Africom) remains committed to working with Somali and international partners."

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Trump's indication to withdraw troops from Somalia comes weeks before the U.S. elections. Shortly after a statement the president made on Twitter last week, all U.S. forces will leave Afghanistan by December of this year.

The departure from Somalia could complicate the Pentagon's ability to gather intelligence about countries in the area, which in turn could affect its campaign of air strikes against extremists, say experts cited by Stars and Stripes.

The U.S. Department of Defense recently reported that it would withdraw the headquarters of Africom from Germany to the continental United States or another country, provoking a wave of criticism and speculation among legislators and specialists, who questioned the unconsulted decision.

According to James Anderson, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Africom's headquarters, now located in Stuttgart, would move from German soil to "a different location."

The announcement of this change came after the White House confirmed plans to reduce US troops in Germany.

In June, Trump initially gave the order to withdraw at least 9,500 US troops from German soil, but Esper said in July that the number of soldiers to return home would increase to at least 11,900.

 
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