Trump has reportedly ordered thousands of United States troops out of Germany

Elias Hubbard
June 6, 2020

Germany is no longer on the front line like during the Cold War, but has instead become a hub for USA operations in the Middle East.

After having experienced years of American unilateralism, US allies in Europe no longer believe that President Donald Trump will offer them much, reported The New York Times.

The move would reduce U.S. troops numbers in Germany to 25,000 from the 34,500 now there.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the expected drawdown.

The move comes after repeated criticisms by members of the Trump administration, including the president, targeting Germany for not spending enough on its defense.

On Friday, Mr Trump directed the Pentagon to permanently remove what would amount to 27.5% of the country's troops now based in Germany, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unnamed administration official.

The move will pull roughly 9,500 troops from the country by September while about 25,000 troops will remain, which also will be the most allowed at any one time.

Details: The memorandum, reportedly signed on Friday by national security adviser Robert O'Brien, limits the amount of USA service members that can be permanently stationed in Germany at one time to 25,000, according to the WSJ.

The official said that the exact size of the reduction has not been decided but a cut of 9,500 is the current tentative planning figure.

As Russia has moved to seize control of territory in Georgia and Ukraine over the last decade, Poland has been campaigning for a permanent United States troop presence.

The decision to pull more than a quarter of U.S. troops out of Germany comes after years of tension between the USA and Chancellor Angela Merkel over her country's military spending. "Putin must be deliriously happy with United States troops in America's streets and U.S. troops leaving European streets". Germany's defense minister said the country would reach this level by 2031, missing the 2024 deadline the allies agreed to. "We've picked up over US$140 billion (S$195.3 billion) of additional money, and we look like we're going to have at least another US$100 billion more in spending" in 2020 by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members, excluding the U.S., the president said at the time.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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