The commander of the US Special Forces, General Richard Clark, revealed Thursday in Washington that the number of his forces deployed around the world is at the lowest level since 2001.

"Today we have about 5,000 special mission soldiers in 62 countries," the general said in a document published on the sidelines of a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

According to the document, this figure is 15% less than last year, which is the lowest number since 2001.

Clark said that the US special forces that include "Green Berets" and "Navy Seals" and units of the Marine Corps and the Air Force will be centralized in Asia, in line with the US military strategy that focuses on China and Russia after 20 years of struggle against what he described as "Islamic extremism." ".

He pointed out that in 2021, "about 40% of our deployed forces will focus on the requirements of competing with major powers."

Trump was keen to put an end to "endless wars" (French)

Elite soldiers

The United States never deploys the number of special forces in each country, and elite soldiers often move between unstable countries such as Libya and, more recently, Somalia.

Former US President Donald Trump, who was keen to put an end to "endless wars," decided at the end of his term in December to withdraw most of the elite American soldiers from Somalia, and also set a date for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.

After taking office, President Joe Biden limited US drone strikes against armed groups outside Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

While Trump has given the army a blanket mandate in countries such as Somalia and Libya, any plan for strikes against armed groups, described as hardliners, must be presented to the White House before implementation.