U.S. draws down forces in Germany, to chagrin of Congress, allies

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper

A report published on Wednesday by London-based think tank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), stated that Germany no longer believes it can expect the US' help against the threat of Russian Federation and China.

Another command unit and U.S. troops could be rotated into Poland, Esper said, if Warsaw signs a defense cooperation and burden-sharing agreement crafted by Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda in June.

However, Trump said he might reconsider the withdrawal he ordered in June "if they start paying their bills".

Some military personnel could also go to Poland and the Baltic states if Warsaw follows through on an agreement already sketched out by the two sides, Esper said.

The US has declared a long-term strategy to pull nearly 12,000 soldiers from Germany but will deploy approximately half of these everywhere around Europe.

The Pentagon has been tight-lipped on how it would carry out the Trump administration's plans, which constitute a singular rebuke to one of Washington's closest trading partners and military allies.

"We don't want to be responsible anymore".

"It's very simple. They're delinquent", Trump said at the White House before leaving on a campaign trip to Texas. "We can see some moves begin within weeks". An additional 2,500 U.S. airmen now in the United Kingdom but scheduled to re-base in Germany, will also remain where they are.

Stars and Stripes reported that the 2nd Cavalry Regiment with 4,500 troops will be returning to the U.S. No decision has yet been made on AFRICOM, Special Operations Command Africa, and a battalion of the 10th Special Forces Group that are all stationed in Stuttgart.

Some Stryker armored assets will be rotated in southeastern Europe, while another command unit and United States troops could be rotated into Poland, if Warsaw signs a cooperation agreement crafted by Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda in June.

The planned relocation of 2,500 USA air force personnel from Britain to Germany has been cancelled.

The German government was cautious in its reaction to the move, expected since June.

"It is essential that we consult closely with our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies on any changes". Roughly 25,000 troops are set to remain in Germany.

But others criticized the strategic value and justification for the move.

However, President Trump's decision sparked criticism within both the GOP and the Democratic Party, with one Republic Senator lashing out at Mr Trump of his "lack of strategic understanding".

The Journal says it estimates the withdrawal from Germany could cost between $6-8 billion.

"So I also think President Trump of course was probably wary of Angela Merkel and the other way around", she added.

German lawmaker Peter Beyer, also the transatlantic coordinator for Chancellor Angela Merkel, echoed those thoughts, saying the sweeping pullout was "completely unacceptable, especially since nobody in Washington thought about informing its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Germany in advance", as quoted in Germany's Rheinische Post news publication in June. In an interview published Wednesday, Trump told Axios that in that conversation, he did not raise U.S. intelligence, alleging that Moscow offered rewards to Taliban fighters for killing USA troops in Afghanistan.



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