German transatlantic coordinator criticizes planned withdrawal of US troops

Elias Hubbard
August 1, 2020

But Obama, while personally popular, also had disagreements with Germany, which he had pressed to show more magnanimity toward the rest of Europe including debt-ravaged Greece. The relocation of select Army and Air Force units will start "within weeks", per Esper.

About 5,600 soldiers will be sent to other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries and 6,400 will head to the United States, with the moves beginning as soon as in a few weeks, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday.

Washington has said it was withdrawing 11,900 American soldiers from Germany in a move which President Trump described specifically to punish Germany for "not paying the bills" for the defence of Europe.

Several months after Trump took office, Merkel made waves when she said that the United States under Trump along with Britain, which voted to leave the European Union, were no longer reliable partners and that Europe should "take its fate into its own hands".

"Germany is the wealthiest country in Europe".

"I do believe people are going to make a mistake if they believe that simply because Biden is back, Europe is back in its relations with the United States", Krastev said.

The Associated Press reported that "the US will bring about 6,400 forces home and shift about 5,600 to other countries in Europe" as part of "a Pentagon plan that will cost billions of dollars and take years to complete".

"As anyone can see, the repositioning of our forces in Europe constitutes a major strategic and positive shift, wholly in line with the NDS, and consistent with other adjustments the United States has made within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in previous times", Esper said.

Germany promised at the 2014 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, like the other allies, to increase its military budget to 2 percent, something that It has nothing to do with the cost of U.S. troops based on their territory.

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

"Though some experts believe the move a setback to NATO, Mark Esper", US Secretary of Defence, stated the movement will" in ways strengthen NATO", improve the deterrence of both Russian Federation and guarantee allies.

The decision may also impact the nation's relations with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Europe.

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.

This strategic posture realignment in Europe, and other actions [U.S. Indo-Pacific Command] is taking as well, should send a clear, unmistakable message to our competitors: the joint force is committed to acting as opportunities arise to counter malign activities, and we remain positioned to deter military aggression against the U.S. and its - and our allies. But he noted that "this concept will take months to plan, and years to execute".

After President Trump blasted Germany for not doing its part in supporting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, almost 12,000 US troops will be shifted from Germany.

"This will improve the speed and clarity of our decision-making and promote greater operational alignment", Wolters said. In addition, Stuttgart, Germany, is home to both the U.S. European Command and the U.S. Africa Command.

However, retired Army Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, a senior fellow at the Defense Priorities think tank, called the withdrawal "a welcome first step to a necessary and overdue reduction of USA forces on the continent".

United States officials said that some moves would begin in months and would likely see air and ground forces sent to countries that already have an American troop presence.

Some Stryker armored assets will be rotated in southeastern Europe, while another command unit and USA troops could be rotated into Poland, if Warsaw signs a cooperation agreement crafted by Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda in June. Noting the combination of Germany's location along with its transportation and logistics, Rathke said: "You can't replicate that elsewhere".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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