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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Afghanistan 2.0? Rep. Gaetz Demands Answers about U.S. Withdrawal from Chad

'Are there any Russian, Chinese, or any non-friendly forces cohabitating or sharing battle space with U.S. forces on military bases in Chad or anywhere else in Africa?...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The Pentagon’s impending withdrawal from Niger is starting to capture the attention of conservative media, due in large part to U.S. Army revelations about water and medicine shortages for troops there.

Meanwhile, Defense Department officials are also working to get out of another African country, Chad. And like in Niger, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is raising concerns about a lack of transparency and an apparent lack of plan for executing a safe withdrawal.

Gaetz wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday, seeking answers about reports he’s seen in the media.  The New York Times reported on April 24 that the DoD would be removing roughly 75 Green Berets from N’djamena, Chad, after the country’s government demanded they leave. Then, on May 1, CNN reported that half the U.S. service members stationed at a French military base in Chad have been relocated to Germany.

Gaetz asked Austin seven questions about Chad, including what’s his plans for a safe withdrawal, whether the Pentagon will leave equipment there—as it did in Afghanistan in 2021—and whether the U.S. will charge Chad for any assets left in the country.

Gaetz also asked if any other African countries are set to expel the U.S.

Additionally, Gaetz wanted to know more about reports of Russian troops cohabitating in a Niger air base with Americans.

“Given that you have confirmed the presence of Russian troops at Airbase 101 in Niger, which houses U.S. troops, are there any Russian, Chinese, or any non-friendly forces cohabitating or sharing battle space with U.S. forces on military bases in Chad or anywhere else in Africa? If so, list the bases and the number of adversarial troops on base,” Gaetz told Austin.

The Pentagon’s impending withdrawal from Niger and Chad stems from the countries’ new governments declaring that the U.S. military presence there is illegal. In a letter published last month by the Post, an Army whistleblower accused Biden of endangering the troops’ lives by leaving them in Niger against the wishes of the country’s new government.

The withdrawal from Niger means the U.S. will presumably have to close its six-year-old, $110 million U.S. air base that was used for drone warfare.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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