The Address | Benghazi – Libya
WASHINGTON – The top U.S. commander for Africa says planned troop cuts on the African continent will have no impact on counterterror operations in Libya and Somalia, where American airstrikes target insurgents.
General Thomas D. Waldhauser, head of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), tells a House committee that he’s cutting about 300 troops by June 2020, in phase one of a 10 per cent reduction. The Pentagon ordered the cut as part of plans to refocus attention on great power competition from Russia and China.
Waldhauser says he’ll push back if the cuts become a problem. He’s unsure the second phase of the cut will be ordered.
He says the cutbacks involved U.S. troops in countries where they have trained local forces for several years, and those troops can now operate on their own.