Sahel Region: African Union to Deploy 3,000 Troops. The African Union said that it plans to deploy 3,000 troops to the Sahel region for about six months. "On the decision of the summit to work on deploying a force of 3,000 troops to help the Sahel countries degrade terrorist groups, I think this is a decision that we'll be working on together with the G5 Sahel and ECOWAS," head of the AU’s Peace and Security Commission said on Thursday. Many details, such as which countries will provide troops and who will fund the operation, have yet to be worked out. Al Jazeera BBC News
Senegal: Al Qaeda and ISIS Affiliates Collaborate. Al Qaeda and Islamic State groups may be cooperating in West Africa’s Sahel region and pose a threat to regional stability. “I believe that if it’s left unchecked it could very easily develop into a great threat to the West and the United States,” said U.S. Air Force General Dagvin Anderson. Military Times
(Military Times) Violence by militant groups in West Africa has spiked 250 percent over the last two years but constrained resources and manpower has pushed the U.S. military to switch strategies from degrading terror groups to containment, according to a recent inspector general report.
(Defense One) The Trump administration said leaving the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty would allow the development and deployment of strategically and tactically new missiles in the Pacific region. But it’s not at all clear that U.S. officials will be able to persuade its allies to accept these missiles in useful locations
By Jack Detsch, Al-Monitor: “The Pentagon’s request would slash funding for the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces to $200 million, down by a third from last year — money that will focus on “helping to provide wide-area security in liberated areas, addressing the ongoing [IS] threat, preventing [IS] re-emergence and setting conditions for long-term stability.””