With pulling troops out of Germany, Trump doesn't hide spite for Merkel

Clay Curtis
August 1, 2020

The president's remarks appeared to undercut Esper, who at an earlier Pentagon briefing posed the withdrawal of 11,900 us troops from Germany as part of a plan long underway to implement the National Defense Strategy by creating a leaner and more agile force in Europe better able to deter Russian Federation.

But NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said allies were already aware of USA plans, which were welcomed by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda who said in a statement: "I value very favourably the news that the United States mentioned possibility of moving some troops to the Baltic countries". Another 6,400 will return to the United States, though most of the forces will then embark on what the Pentagon is describing as "continuous rotations" to the Black Sea region.

In remarks likely to irk Moscow, Esper said some USA troops would reposition to the Black Sea region and some could temporarily deploy in waves to the Baltics.

Trump himself seemed to underline that thinking on Wednesday, saying the troop cuts had to do with Berlin's failure to meet defense spending targets and not with the strategic reasons Esper put forward when he announced the move, which included countering to Moscow.

Mons is where North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has its Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), the defence alliance's top military command.

Throughout his time in the White House, Trump has faced scrutiny from Democrats for being too soft on Putin. The German logistics network, which states United they can access, it is very sophisticated: airfields and bases, the rail network, which allows the U.S. to move equipment.

Under the plan, the United States troop presence in Germany would be downsized from roughly 36,000 to 24,000.

The Pentagon chief cast the decision to cut USA forces in Germany as the result of a months-long review of American deployments in Europe aimed at bolstering defense.

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Despite concerns that the move announced on Wednesday is politically motivated, they told Reuters that "streamlining and rationalising" the us military presence in Europe made some strategic sense.

"It'll be a service responsibility to determine where they should go to enhance their readiness to make sure we have adequate housing and childcare and hospital care and all that for families", Esper said.

President Trump has repeatedly complained about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies not meeting the group's defense spending target of 2% of GDP, while threatening retaliation.

Among the U.S. troops that would be withdrawn, about 5,600 will be repositioned to other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries, while the rest will be returned to the United States with some beginning rotational deployment back to Europe, the Pentagon chief told a news briefing. Germany and the Ramstein Air Force Base has been a major hub for American troops rotating through to and from the Middle East and Africa. Currently, about 36,000 US troops are deployed in the European country.

The Pentagon would be moving away from the billions spent between 2004 and 2011 on improvements to secure and consolidate key USA military locations in Germany, Hertling said, only to have to replicate facilities such as homes, schools, headquarters, and headquarters in new locations.

Cost aside, some critics say the plan is a strategic mistake. American troops have been on German soil since 1945. We do not want to continue being the cousins, "Trump said in statements to the media this Wednesday:" We are reducing forces because they are not paying the bills.

Meanwhile, Peter Beyer, the Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation at the Federal Foreign Office for Germany's government called the decision to remove the troops from Germany "completely unacceptable" and said that the German government was not informed in advance before the decision was made.

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