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Updated Feb 4, 2020

On Thursday, January 30, Washington, DC, called upon the rest of Europe to aid France in its counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel. In a speech in Congress, Stephen J. Townsend, commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), said, “Europeans must rise to the challenge and do more in the Sahel to aid France.” Standing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Townsend went on to elaborate that terrorist violence in the region has not shown any signs of dissipating, and that any reconfiguration of American troops in the region should be met with a strengthening of a European presence to offset any imbalance. 

The announcement comes at a time when the Pentagon is considering a global troop reduction, moving away from counterterrorism and toward countering “great power threats” like China and Russia.

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