Trump approves plan to withdraw 9,500 US troops from Germany

Trump approves cutting 9,500 troops in Germany

The House committee is expected to consider an amendment limiting Trump's ability to withdraw from Germany when it considers the annual defense policy bill on Wednesday.

"The Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff briefed the President yesterday on plans to redeploy 9,500 troops from Germany", Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement Tuesday, adding that Trump approved the plan. The two officials did not say to which European country the troops might be moved, as that is among the options to be presented to the U.S. president.

Critics of the withdrawal have labeled it a gift to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but the Pentagon statement said that reducing the number of US troops in Germany to about 25,000 would be done in a way created to strengthen NATO's ability to deter Russia. "So we're removing a number down to, we're putting the number down to 25,000 soldiers". Some of the 9,500 will return to the United States, while others will be transferred to former Soviet-bloc countries, the two officials said, speaking on grounds of anonymity.

22 Republicans led by Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) urged Trump to reconsider the move in a letter.

Trump defended vetoing the measure at the time, calling the resolution "very insulting".

In a statement on the measure, Romney called the withdrawal of United States troops from Germany, "a gift to Russian Federation", and "the last thing we should be doing".

"In addition to undermining our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, a withdrawal would present serious logistical challenges and prevent our military from performing routine military readiness exercises", Romney said. Then-Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell suggested a troop reduction last August. Germany denied being told about that, and United States commanders denied being ordered to do that either.

The six senators, including influential Republicans Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, announced an amendment to the national defence spending legislation (NDAA) for fiscal year 2021 that would limit the use of funds for reducing troops in Germany.

Transatlantic relations have plumbed new lows during the last three years, with the USA announcing last week that it could impose tariffs on $3.1 billion of products from Germany and other European countries over a trade dispute.

"But Germany is totally controlled by Russian Federation, because they will be getting from 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russian Federation and a new pipeline", he continued.

U.S. military personnel have been in German territory since the end of World War II and during the Cold War, they were considered as a containment force against the Soviet Union.

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