WASHINGTON — President Trump’s surprise tweet last week that he would pull all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Christmas is not the only important military mission he may abruptly shrink or end as Election Day nears.
Mr. Trump has told senior advisers that he also wants to see plans for withdrawing all American forces in Somalia, despite warnings from senior military and counterterrorism officials that doing so would bolster the deadly Qaeda affiliate there and cede strategic ground in East Africa to China and Russia.
The president sent mixed signals last month when he declared that U.S. forces “are out of Syria,” except to guard the region’s oil fields. His comments came on the day the Pentagon said it was sending Bradley fighting vehicles, more fighter jet patrols and about 100 additional troops to northeast Syria after a Russian armored vehicle rammed an American ground patrol there in August, injuring seven soldiers.
“We’re in all these different sites fighting in countries that nobody ever heard of, and it hurts us because we’re — you wear out your military,” Mr. Trump said last week in an interview with Fox Business. “And we have to be always prepared for China and Russia and these other places. We have to be prepared.”
distance themselves from their commander in chief’s troop withdrawal forecasts, which have caught them off guard. And critics say that in seeking to fulfill a campaign pledge to bring American troops home from “endless wars,” the president is exposing the country to even greater national security risks.
“There’s no strategy;
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