United States army presence in Kenya and Africa may be coming to an end sooner than later.

The US Defence Department is considering closing military outposts in Kenya and three other African countries while also halving the number of its special operation forces on the continent, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

While the paper did not specify which facilities in Kenya could be affected by the proposed move, which must be approved by Defence Secretary Jim Mattis before it takes effect, US is known to have been operating a military camp at Manda Bay, Lamu County, sometimes referred to as Camp Simba, for several years now.

US troops have also been reported to operate from an installation in Isiolo.

US forces inside Kenya are believed to contribute to anti-insurgency missions in neighbouring Somalia, once a haven for terrorists but now slowly rising from the ashes of more than three decades of war and civil unrest.

The sizeable US military contingent in Somalia totaling about 500 personnel would remain however intact under the plans being mulled by Defence Department officials, the Times said.

There is also no suggestion of a significant downsizing of the US base in Djibouti.

The potential reductions of US troops in Africa reflect a planned shift in strategy, with the Defence Department focusing its resources more on perceived threats from China and Russia.

The plan to close facilities in Africa and to remove half of the 1,200 US special forces now on the continent, also results from a political outcry following the killing of four US soldiers by Islamist militants in Niger last year.

A fifth US service member was killed in Somalia earlier this year.

Most of the estimated 6,000 US military personnel assigned to roles in Africa would apparently not be affected by the possible withdrawals.