It appears that President Donald Trump isn’t done bringing troops back home to America just yet.
Reuters reports that President Trump is considering withdrawing United States troops from Somalia.
Is it true?
Reuters cited for its report anonymous U.S. officials.
“The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said nothing had been finalized and that no orders for Somalia have been received by the U.S. military,” Reuters reports. “But there appeared to be a growing expectation that drawdown orders would be coming soon.”
Somalia has long been a key for controlling the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab terrorist group. For this reason, the United States has kept a presence there.
Currently, there are about 700 United States troops stationed in Somalia, and they work side-by-side with local forces. Breitbart reports that, roughly three weeks ago, the United States pulled some troops out of northeastern Bosaso and north-central Galkayo, two small cities in Somalia. According to Reuters’ report, President Trump would be looking to withdraw “nearly all” of the remaining 700 troops.
The bigger picture
This news comes as President Trump signed executive orders to reduce the number of United States troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Currently, there are 4,500 American troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 in Iraq. The president is looking to get these numbers down to 2,500 each, 5,000 in total.
President Trump hopes to have this accomplished by the end of his first term in early January of 2021. If he succeeds, he will have achieved part of his goal, which has two closely related parts: to end the endless wars in the Middle East and to return all United States troops from the region.
Will it happen?
The worry is that the withdrawal of American troops could have serious negative consequences, including the resurgence of terrorist groups. This is especially a concern in Somalia.
It ought to be made clear that the Trump administration has neither confirmed nor denied that it is looking to withdraw troops from Somalia. But, it would be in line with the recent withdrawal plans in Afghanistan and Iraq.