The US announced yesterday that 12000 troops are to be removed from Germany starting withing weeks.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said “6400 American Soldiers will be returning to the States, whilst a further 5600 will relocated to other military sites. This is part of President Trumps aims to remove troops from Germany because of ‘its failure to spend enough on defense’. These changes will achieve the core principles of enhancing U.S. and NATO deterrence of Russia, strengthening NATO, reassuring allies and improving U.S. strategic flexibility”
Some troops will be relocated to Italy and The U.S. European Command and Special Operations Command Europe will be moved from Stuttgart, Germany, to Belgium.
Approximately 24000 troops will remain in Germany, and others will be moved to the Black Sea and Baltic zones. Many of the troops returning to the States will have the opportunity to rotate their deployments back to Europe if desired.
Leaving a large contingent of troops still in Germany, maintains Germany as a critical part of US Operations in Africa and the Middle East.
Senator Jim Inholfe, Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee was quoted as saying “The concept for realigning U.S. military posture in Europe is sound. It will take months to plan and years to execute”
Twenty two members of Trumps own party disagree with the decision and have sent a communication saying “a reduced U.S. commitment to Europe’s defense would encourage Russian aggression and opportunism”
The Pentagons policy for a while has been to reduce German troops and increase them in the Indo-Pacific.
Trump announced yesterday that his decision was bore directly related to “his anger over Germany’s failure to meet NATO defense spending goals. We’re reducing the force because they’re not paying their bills. It’s very simple. They’re delinquent.”
He also stated “the decision could be reversed if Germany starts paying their bills. They have failed to meet a NATO goal introduced in 2014 for members to halt budget cuts and move toward spending at least 2 percent of their gross national product on defense by 2024. Germans have shortchanged the United States on trade and defense, and until they pay more for their own defense, I will reduce U.S. troops.”
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