The Trump administration is planning to draw down U.S. troops in Somalia by early 2021. In a statement released Friday, the Pentagon explained that “the majority” of the roughly 700 soldiers currently stationed in the country will be reassigned to positions in neighboring countries in East Africa.
“While a change in force posture, this action is not a change in U.S. policy,” said the Department of Defense, which noted that President Trump had personally ordered the withdrawal. “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 announcement represents just the latest upheaval at the Pentagon, where President Trump has ordered a raft of changes since his loss in the presidential election last month. Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and replaced him with Christopher Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, in mid-November, and just a week later, the Pentagon announced a reduction in forces in both Afghanistan in Iraq.