MESOPOTAMIA NEWS “AFTER TRUMP” : Upon taking office, President Joe Biden limited the US military’s use of drone strikes against extremist groups outside Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq
US Special Forces at lowest level worldwide since 2001
AFP – 9 Hours 26 March 2021 – US Special Forces deployed around the world are at their lowest level since 2001, their chief, General Richard Clarke, said Thursday in Washington.
“Today, we have nearly 5,000 SOF [special operations forces] deployed to 62 countries,” the Special Forces command chief said in a document released on the sidelines of a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. That is down 15 percent from last year and the lowest number since 2001, the document said.
In addition, the Special Forces, which include elite Army Green Berets, Navy Seals and units from the Marines and Air Force, will pivot to Asia, in line with the US military strategy that focuses on China and Russia, after a 20-year struggle against Islamist extremism, said Clarke.
By 2021, “nearly 40 percent of our deployed forces will focus on GPC requirements,” he said, referring to great power competition.
The United States never publishes the number of Special Forces deployed to each country. These elite military personnel usually rotate through countries experiencing instability, such as Libya and recently Somalia.
Former President Donald Trump, eager to put an end to “endless wars,” had decided at the very end of his mandate, in December, to recall the majority of elite soldiers from Somalia, after having accelerated the disengagement from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Upon taking office, President Joe Biden limited the US military’s use of drone strikes against extremist groups outside Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.
While Trump had given the military carte blanche in countries such as Somalia or Libya, any planned strikes against militant groups there are now submitted to the White House before being executed.