Tuesday, December 24, 2019
In West African countries, US troops support the fight against jihadist militias. Washington, however, has other long-term goals and is considering withdrawing the approximately 7,000 soldiers stationed there. That would be a big blow, especially for France.
The US government is considering a massive troop withdrawal from West Africa, according to a newspaper report. As the "New York Times" reports, a complete withdrawal of US soldiers used in the fight against jihadist militias is also under discussion. The question is currently still being discussed in the US Department of Defense. A decision is no longer expected this year: US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper wants to check the presence of US soldiers worldwide and withdraw the country from counter-terrorism operations. Instead, China and Russia are to be brought into even greater focus. According to the "New York Times", the first step on this path could be the withdrawal of up to 7,000 US soldiers stationed in Africa. The US withdrawal would be a hard blow, particularly for the French armed forces fighting jihadist militias in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. According to the NYT, the United States spends approximately $ 45 million annually on its operations in Africa. The deployment of the French military to the Sahel has been controversial in France since the death of 13 French soldiers in a helicopter collision in Mali in late November , This was the most serious incident so far in the French military operation against Islamists in the Sahel since 2013, and France has currently deployed around 4,500 soldiers in the Sahel to fight jihadists. The Bundeswehr is also present in Mali as part of UN and EU missions.