Monday, 03 August, 2020

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

Mitt Romney slams Trump for plan to remove thousands of U.S. troops from Germany Sen. Mitt Romney R-Utah speaks during a news conference on on Capitol Hill
Deanna Wagner | 01 August, 2020, 11:45

"I believe the concept for realigning US military posture in Europe, as the President has approved, is sound", said Sen.

Some US forces now stationed in Germany would be redeployed to Belgium and Italy, and others would begin continuous rotation in the Black Sea region, according to Esper.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced at a Pentagon briefing Wednesday that approximately 11,900 United States troops will leave Germany, reducing the US troop presence from approximately 36,000 to 24,000.

"A Significant tactical and positive change" USA officials stated that some motions would start in weeks, likely in the kind of ground and air forces sent to states that now have an American troop presence.

He stressed that the action is part of his broader plan to reposition United States military forces around the world to better address key threats and enhance flexibility, including with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, which is focused on deterring a possible Russian threat to Europe. "As we've entered a new era of great-power competition we are now at another inflection point in NATO's history".

"Our aim is to implement these moves as expeditiously as possible", Esper told reporters at the Pentagon. He was briefed on the issue last week, and he issued a statement saying the "concept for realigning US military posture in Europe" is sound.

He added, "I hope that members of Congress will take time to really understand this issue".

Mr Sasse said: "U.S. troops aren't stationed around the world as traffic cops or welfare caseworkers - they're restraining the expansionary aims of the world's worst regimes, chiefly China and Russian Federation".

Esper told the media that the United States remains committed to Germany's and NATO's defense as 24,000 troops will remain there but other forces will be shifted further east to the Black and Baltic Sea regions. It does not pay the bills of the North Atlantic Alliance, and so for many years. Esper said this would begin within weeks and cost several billion dollars.

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But another Senate Republican slammed the decision to cut troops in Germany as "weak".

Also announced that the Pentagon will transfer its command center, previously located in Stuttgart, Germany, to Belgium.

The current plan does not foresee a permanent troop re-assignment to Poland but, according to USA officials, could result in the "possibility to reassign more troops to Poland and the Baltics" on a rotational basis. "And he made the point that the US was going to draw down troops around the world, and he's now living up to that".

President Trump was very critical of Germany for not holding up the end of their and NATO's defense. "It's very simple", Trump said.

"This will strengthen North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and improve the operational efficiency and readiness of over 2,000 (US) service members", he said.

Another command unit and USA 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.

US President Donald Trump flanked by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley (3rd R) and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Hyten (R) meets with military leaders and national security team in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 9, 2020.

For Obama, "Germany was seen as the indispensable partner, especially in light of Brexit", David-Wilp said.