"We are regularly hearing from Africa that we are outnumbered by the Chinese diplomats working on economic or other issues 4 or 5 to 1. We cannot continue to concentrate all that money in Afghanistan and Iraq", a senior US State Department official told the publication.
The publication's sources clarified that the number of US diplomats stationed in Kabul is planned to be halved by 2020. According to a plan that has yet to be approved, between 20 and 30 US diplomats in Iraq may lose their positions this year, and another 30-50 percent of the staff of US diplomatic missions in Baghdad and Erbil may be cut next year.
According to the magazine, these plans are consistent with Washington's intention to reduce military presence in the Middle East and South Asia in order to prepare for the so-called era of great-power competition with China and Russia.
*Al-Qaedai s a terrorist organisation banned in Russia