According to ZeroHedge, the Pentagon is reportedly beginning to “quietly” withdraw key military officers from hot spots in Africa and the Middle East in efforts to shift resources to prioritize countering the rise of China and Russia. This comes at a time when Congress’s caps on the maximum number of generals and admirals in a given year must be met.
There are, however, critics of this move who argue that such a decision will make American rivals become more emboldened in unstable areas of the world. The Wall Street Journal reported that military attachés are being pulled out of various countries in West Africa. Military attachés have traditionally played a crucial role in connecting embassies with the host country’s military in efforts to promote political stability and combat terrorism.
The WSJ report outlined, “The position of defense attaché, the senior U.S. military representative in American diplomatic posts, is being downgraded in rank in eight key allied countries—including the U.K. and Saudi Arabia—according to an Aug. 24 order signed by [former]Defense Secretary Mark Esper.”
What will generally happen is that many generals or admirals will be replaced with colonels or Navy captains. Critics in Congress and the defense sector believe the move will hurt American relationships and clout with the host countries, who will be reluctant to run critical operations and carry out intelligence sharing activity with less prominent American officers.
Under Esper’s order, 110 general or admiral positions must be cut by December 2022. It should be noted that there were no specifics about the countries where these changes will take place in. The African continent will likely witness a large reduction in the number of commanders present in the region.
For the American supremacists in Congress, there’s a general fear that these moves to reduce a military presence in Africa will “cede” ground to great powers such as Russia and China. At this point, it’s undeniable that the U.S. is far too over-stretched abroad. While Trump remains in office, he should do everything possible to reduce American military forces presence abroad. The U.S. cannot afford to police the world when it can barely maintain order domestically. The time for talking is over. President Trump to act in accordance to his America First instincts and bring back large numbers of troops stationed overseas home.