Tags: China | ISIS/Islamic State | Russia | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism | africa | troops

New US Strategy Toward Africa Elicits Controversy

a view of a cloud-covered continent of africa from outer space.
A view of the continent of Africa from outer space. (NASA/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 December 2018 11:22 AM

A cut in American troops in Africa as part of a Trump administration plan to signal a shift toward the continent that emphasizes the U.S. rivalry with China and Russia as a top priority rather than an exclusive focus on fighting threats from terrorism, has generated controversy, according to NBC News.

The new Trump strategy has been welcomed by some lawmakers and former officials, who have been warning for years the U.S. has relied too heavily on elite operators for short-term tactical missions that are not part of an holistic strategy or enhanced by non-military efforts.

China in particular has been expanding its military presence on the continent, by both expanding economic activities via a sweeping infrastructure program called the Belt and Road Initiative, and by building on decades of financial and political involvement in several countries, Defense One reported.

Russia also has sought to gain a foothold across the continent with arms deals and military cooperation agreements.

However, a recent Pentagon announcement it would be cutting 10 percent of its troop strength in Africa over the next several years, including half of the counterterrorism forces operating in West Africa, has been met with criticism from some in the policy community and in Congress.

"A withdrawal by the United States is a win for China," said Paul Nantulya, a research associate at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, a congressionally-funded Pentagon think tank, told Defense One.

When asked about the troop cuts, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said "Alternatives should be looked at . . . [because] it's a vitally important theater for [great power competition]."

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A cut in American troops in Africa as part of a Trump administration plan has generated controversy, NBC News reports.
africa, troops, withdrawal, foreign policy, america first
Tuesday, 25 December 2018 11:22 AM
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