For the past several months, the United States military has been looking at cutting troop levels in Africa, South America, and other places. This is in an effort to beef up the conventional forces to face the potential threats of the near-peer militaries of China and Russia in a conventional war that will never happen. 

The strategy of removing troops from Africa and South America makes no sense since both China and Russia are actively trying to increase their footprint in both places. On top of that, the current doctrine of both China and Russia is to avoid a conventional war with the United States. In an interview we did with Col. Stu Bradin, former SOCOM Chief of Staff, he said, both nations will avoid conventional conflict at all costs: “They’re going to win in the competition phase, they’re going to use cyber, SOF, intelligence operations. Their doctrine says they will interfere with elections…” But that is an argument for another time and place. 

The Pentagon, however, is looking to also cut some redundant task forces and missions that are no longer valid. And that is a good and a needed thing, given the current state of the military budget. 

Secretary of Defense Mark Esperspoke spoke with Congressmen on Wednesday. He said that seldom-used crisis response forces and several outdated mission tasks across the combatant commands were under review.