“U.S. Africa Command has been told to plan to move,” AFRICOM commander Army Gen. Stephen Townsend said in a new statement.
Part of the fallout to Trump's controversial order to move some 12,000 troops from Germany in a major historic draw down which has angered a number of Congressional leaders, including charges that the US has somehow "handed over" Europe to America's superpower rivals like Russia and China, is that US Africa Command's fate as well as other key command headquarters are in the balance.
US Africa Command has been headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany since 2008, but as part of the Pentagon troop withdraw it too will have to move.
AFRICOM said in a statement late this week that it “will look first at options elsewhere in Europe, but also will consider options in the United States” as it plans its move, which the statement noted is “likely take several months”.
It should be noted that AFRICOM has grown increasingly controversial in recent years given the seeming explosion of US bases, especially drone and special forces bases, on the African continent over the past decade. There's an estimated multiple dozens of bases, most established only the past few years.
Many African leaders have noted that it's an uninvited, unwanted presence, which hearkens back to the 19th century "scramble for Africa" and new colonialism.
Also caught in the fallout of Trump's Germany troop draw down of 12,000 out of 36,000 American troops is that Germany has long been home to another key command. Special Operations Command Europe, also based in Stuttgart, will be moving to Mons in Belgium, according to prior Pentagon statements.
Now map where the US has put its Africom bases. https://t.co/YmwpeN4sWr— Our Hidden History (@OurHiddenHistry) September 2, 2017
A portion of the withdrawn troops are expected to move to other NATO states such as Belgium and Italy, while others are expected to return to bases in the United States.