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January 21, 2020 9:15 am

Withdrawing From Africa Will Undermine Trump’s Policy of ‘America First’

avatar by Ken Abramowitz


US President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, US December 21, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Marco Bello.

Recent news items indicate that the Trump administration is considering plans to reduce the US military footprint in Africa. Judging from his previous statements regarding his reluctance to have American soldiers in foreign lands, President Trump’s presumed rationale is:

  • That it is far more important to reposition our armed forces to defend us in a conflict with the two biggest military powers, China and Russia.

If this is indeed President Trump’s rationale, it misses 10 key issues:

  1. Northern Africa is a gateway for terrorists and illicit drugs into Europe, Latin America, and the US.
  2. African countries need help protecting themselves from highly motivated radical Islamist terrorists.
  3. The southern half of Africa is predominantly Christian, which needs help protecting itself themselves from armed jihadists.
  4. Chaos in Africa leads to refugees floods and illegal economic migration to Europe and the US. This also causes brain-drain that robs Africa of future economic growth.
  5. Africa is on the front lines of America’s containment strategy of Islamic terrorists.
  6. Instability in Africa hurts our key allies like Nigeria, Egypt, and Morocco, among others.
  7. Russia, China, and Iran will fill any voids that the US leaves open.
  8. Any unilateral disarmament sends a signal to key enemies like Iran, competitors like China and Russia, and “frenemies” like Turkey that America can be pressured to stop protecting our allies.
  9. It is unethical for the US not to help protect our numerous Christian and Muslim national allies, who generally share our values.
  10. Destabilizing Africa will eventually hurt Americans, on our homeland, one to three years later, through increased terror and illicit drugs.

Further reducing our already-small contingent of 7,000 soldiers in Africa is a repudiation of the Trump administration’s “America First“ strategy to firmly protect the US. It’s also hardly good politics just before the November elections.

Kenneth S. Abramowitz is the founder of SaveTheWest. Research and editing was contributed by Jon Sutz.

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