In Africa, US Sees Trainers as ‘Better Fit’ Than Combat Troops

Posted on February 13, 2020 6:19 pm

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The United States is trying to ease concerns about its decision to withdraw conventional troops from Africa and replace them with specialized military trainers.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday the move will leave “roughly the same number of troops on the continent,” while giving U.S. commanders the capability to bolster partner forces.

Speaking with reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, Esper said the move to swap out combat troops for trainers is based on observations by U.S. Africa Command Commander, General Stephen Townsend.

“He [Townsend] thinks it’s a better fit than what we currently do,”