US President Donald Trump’s plan to attract down the US contingent in Germany has been set in movement, with the Pentagon saying that 9,500 troops out of 34,500 stationed there shall be eliminated pending consultations with allies.
“The Secretary of Protection and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees briefed the President yesterday on plans to redeploy 9,500 troops from Germany,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman stated in an announcement on Tuesday, noting that the proposal had already been authorized.
Pentagon assertion on U.S. troop ranges in Germany: pic.twitter.com/L1lMgPu5IS
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The plan to reduce the US navy presence in Germany was made public by Trump earlier this month. He didn’t reveal the timeline for the withdrawal, and it was not instantly clear the place they might be heading. The US contingent in Germany is anticipated to be slashed by 9,500 troops, which means that Washington will nonetheless have a large 25,000-strong presence there.
Trump stated that the pullout was in response to Berlin falling in need of assembly a 2 % GDP threshold in NATO protection spending, which was agreed again beneath the Obama administration. Though solely eight nations up to now have met the goal, Trump directed his anger at Berlin, calling it “delinquent” in its funds to NATO and arguing that the nation owes “billions” to the US-led navy alliance.
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Whereas Trump’s critics used the looming withdrawal to pounce on the Republican president, accusing him of pandering to Russia, Trump has identified that whereas “some” of the launched forces “shall be coming house,” the remaining shall be redeployed to “different locations.”
Though Hoffman didn’t point out the place the troops can be “redeployed,” saying solely that the plan “can even improve Russian deterrence, strengthen NATO” and “reassure Allies,” the more than likely vacation spot is believed to be Poland, which has already expressed curiosity in internet hosting the US troops.
Throughout a latest go to to Washington, Polish President Andrzej Duda stated that Warsaw requested the US to not take away the troops from Europe in any respect, as an alternative relocating them to Poland to fend off “Russian aggression.” Trump agreed that Poland certainly “can be one” of the locations in Europe the place the US troops can be heading, however that some would “come house.”
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There have been few particulars concerning the timeline and the state of affairs of the elimination, with the Pentagon promising to supply “well timed updates to probably affected personnel, their households and communities as planning progresses.”
With uncertainty reigning over the way forward for the German contingent, there was rising opposition to the plan in Congress, not simply from the Democrats however from Trump’s personal social gathering. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), rating member on the Home Armed Companies Committee, stated Tuesday that he expects an modification to be launched within the committee to stall the drawdown.
In a separate transfer, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) ready an modification that, if handed, would see the funds earmarked for the redeployment to be frozen till the secretary of protection “verifies” to Congress that the pullout wouldn’t harm NATO, US navy operations or the personnel.
Hoffman stated that the Pentagon shall be “briefing this plan to the congressional protection committees within the coming weeks,” earlier than reaching out to NATO allies.
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