On 11 June, the White House released President Trump’s military update to Congress.
Addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as well as President pro tempore of the Senate Charles Grassley (R-IA), the letter was, according to Trump, part of his “efforts to keep the Congress informed about deployments of United States Armed Forces equipped for combat.”
Trump’s military update to Congress was essentially a basic overview of all the conflicts the United States is involved in around the globe. Trump of course covered the “bigger” war zones such as Syria and Afghanistan. But the more important revelations in the 1,500-plus-word document were concerning the lesser known operations in which America is currently a participant.
There are approximately 2,910 United States military personnel deployed in the Kingdom of Jordan. According to Trump, these troops are there “at the request of the government” to support “Defeat-ISIS operations,” a campaign in which Jordan is and has been a major participant.
While the exact number was not specified, there are allegedly a substantial number of United States Armed Forces, including “strike and combat-support aircraft and associated United States military personnel” deployed to Turkey. Similar to the their presence in Jordan, the U.S. maintains operations in Turkey to support operations against ISIS in the region.
American personnel deployed to the Philippines are providing support to the counterterrorism operations of the armed forces of the Philippines. These operations are also ISIS-related.
The governments of Kenya, Djibouti, as well as the Somali African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) coalition are all receiving active support from the United States military in various ways. These countries have their hands full with a range of militant groups such as al-Shabaab and the African provinces of ISIS.
The U.S. presence in these regions highlights the vital nature of America’s role in maintaining global stability. The African continent, for example, would almost certainly be at a loss in dealing with jihadism if not for U.S. support. Furthermore, it is worth noting that America continues to invest in its military presence in many of these locations despite deteriorating relations with local governments—the current situation in Turkey being a prime example.