US Wants to Reduce Presence in Africa, Says Milley – By Sylvie Lanteaume (Agence France Presse) / Jan 13 2020
The United States wants to reduce its military presence in Africa, Washington’s top military officer said, as France hosts Sahel leaders as it seeks to bolster the fight against jihadists in the region.
Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, said resources “could be reduced and then shifted, either to increase readiness of the force in the continental U.S. or shifted to” the Pacific.
His comments came as he flew in for talks with NATO counterparts in Brussels.
The announcement follows President Donald Trump’s call last week for NATO to do more in the Middle East and comes as French President Emmanuel Macron gathers his counterparts from Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania.
Milley said his boss, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, had not made up his mind what changes to make.
“We’re developing options for the secretary to consider, and we are developing those options in coordination with our allies and partners,” Milley said.
After 13 French soldiers were killed in a helicopter collision in Mali last month, Macron wants the Sahel leaders to publicly restate their support for France’s 4,500-strong military presence, after local demonstrations against it.