Monday September 3, 2018
By KEVIN J. KELLEY
New York - The US Defence
Department is considering closing military outposts in Kenya and three
other African countries while also halving the number of its special
operation forces on the continent, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
the Times account does not specify which facilities in Kenya could be
affected by the proposed move, which must be approved by Defence
Secretary Jim Mattis before it takes effect.
The US is
known to have maintained a military presence at Manda Bay, sometimes
referred to as Camp Simba, for several years now. US troops have also
been reported to operate from an installation in Isiolo.
US forces inside Kenya are believed to contribute to anti-insurgency missions in neighbouring Somalia.
sizeable US military contingent in Somalia of about 500 personnel would
remain intact under the plans being mulled by Defence Department
officials, the Times said.
If the envisioned cutbacks
in Africa are carried out, the Pentagon would be left with “a lasting,
robust military presence in Somalia and Nigeria,” the newspaper
The potential reductions of US troops in
Africa reflect a planned shift in strategy, with the Defence Department
focusing its resources more on perceived threats from China and Russia.
plan to close facilities in Africa and to remove half of the 1,200 US
special forces now on the continent, also results from a political
outcry following the killing of four US soldiers by Islamist militants
in Niger last year.
A fifth US service member was killed in Somalia earlier this year.
of the estimated 6,000 US military personnel assigned to roles in
Africa would apparently not be affected by the possible withdrawals.
There is also no suggestion of a significant downsizing of the US base