The US Defense Department or Pentagon is considering withdrawing American troops from West Africa, part of a shift in its forces around the world, the New York Times said.
There are currently between 5,000 and 7,000 American troops in Africa, mainly in the west, but there are also troops in Somalia.
The presence of US troops included military trainers and a newly built drone base at a cost of $ 110 million in Niger, according to the New York Times daily.
Withdrawing the troops also means an end to US troops’ aid for French military operations in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, and in the fight against al Qaeda and ISIS.
The Pentagon supports the various operations by providing intelligence, logistical support and air-fuel refueling, all of which are estimated to cost 45 million dollars per year.
France has had a large military presence in Mali since 2013, when it launched an attack on a jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda, which captured northern Mali. France launched a counter-terrorist operation and urged five countries, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Chad, Mali and Niger, to build their own combined forces.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper is studying the presence of American troops around the world by reducing pressure on anti-terrorist operations, and focusing on dealing with China and Russia, the New York Times said. The decision on withdrawing American troops is likely to be announced next year.