Even though President Donald Trump and his administration are in the midst of waging election-related legal battles across the country, that hasn’t stopped him from coming through on his promise to protect U.S. military troops and keep them out of harm’s way whenever possible.
According to The Hill, the Commander in Chief gave the order to the Pentagon to withdraw almost all U.S. military troops who are currently stationed in Somalia, a maneuver that the Department of Defense says will be completed sometime early in the new year.
The Pentagon said in an official statement Friday that the president “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.”
U.S. troops had originally been deployed to the area to train local military and police so that they would have the capabilities to stem the growth of the terrorist organizations al-Shabab and the Islamic State. U.S. forces were also able to carry out airstrikes against those terrorist forces.
While a bulk of U.S. troops will be pulled out of the area, some will “will be repositioned from Somalia into neighboring countries in order to allow cross-border operations by both U.S. and partner forces to maintain pressure against violent extremist organizations operating in Somalia,” the Department of Defense said.
Not surprisingly, Trump’s decision to pull our troops came under fire from inspectors general in several government agencies, as they argued that Somalian forces aren’t yet ready to handle dangerous terrorist organizations on their own at this point.
“Somalia’s security forces are unable to contain the threat from Al-Shabaab and ISIS-Somalia, which poses a smaller but still potent threat, without significant international support,” the inspectors general wrote in a joint report.
According to BBC, the Pentagon responded with assurance that the United States will still have the capabilities to counter the terrorists forces when need be.
“We will continue to degrade violent extremist organisations that could threaten our homeland while ensuring we maintain our strategic advantage in great power competition,” the Pentagon said in a statement.