The Pentagon, according to Breitbart, confirmed on Friday that President Donald Trump has ordered the withdrawal of most of the American troops stationed in Somalia.
Several outlets put out reports in late November stating that the president was considering this possibility. It now looks as though it is going to happen.
The Pentagon released a statement on Friday stating that President Trump “has ordered the Department of Defense and the United States Africa Command to reposition the majority of personnel and assets out of Somalia by early 2021.”
The United States currently has about 700 troops stationed in Somalia. They have been working side-by-side to eliminate the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab terrorist group.
There will be no resurgence
One concern is that a large-scale withdrawal by the United State from Somalia could result in a resurgence of this terrorist group. But, the Pentagon insisted that this will not happen.
“We will continue to degrade violent extremist organizations that could threaten our homeland while ensuring we maintain our strategic advantage in great power competition,” the statement reads.
The Pentagon added that Defense Secretary Christ Miller recently visited Somalia where he “reaffirmed US resolve in seeing the degradation of violent extremist organizations that threaten US interests, partners, and allies in the region.”
It is not clear how many of the roughly 700 troops will be removed. But, the troops that are removed are expected to be reassigned to neighboring countries. This, said the Pentagon, will allow the United State to “retain the capability to conduct targeted counterterrorism operations in Somalia, and collect early warnings and indicators regarding threats to the homeland.”
Bringing the troops home
In addition to Somalia, President Trump in mid-November ordered the withdrawal of troops from both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Currently, there are about 4,500 to 5,000 U.S. troops stationed in Afganistan and around 3,000 in Iraq. The president is looking to get both of those numbers down to about 2,500 by mid-January.
It has long been a goal of President Trump’s to return all U.S. troops back home from the Middle East. He has also spoken out against the “endless” wars that have been taking place in the region.
The president has faced some opposition along the way. But, the troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Somalia, are definitely progress.