Thursday, 06 August, 2020


USA is bringing 6400 troops home from Germany

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper
Bennie Garza | 01 August, 2020, 11:45

Still, this is a mischaracterization on the way North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies contribute defense spending, critics say.

Under the plan, 5,600 USA troops will be redeployed from Germany to other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, including Belgium and Italy. The plan will cost less than $ 10 billion.

Canceling plans to relocate 2,500 USA refueling crew airmen now based in the United Kingdom to Germany.

ArmyTimes noted that the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps all base their European command headquarters in Germany.

But the withdrawal is not only numerical. The plan leaves just under 25,000 troops in Germany. The African Command and the African Special Operations Command remain for the time being in German territory, although Wolters warned that they could also leave the country in the future. "Yet the Pentagon's plan.is far from a stroke of populist genius".

However, US President Donald Trump has pointed to other reasons.

The board sides with Trump's frustration on "Germany's failure to meet its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defense commitments, its support for Russia's gas pipeline, and its naivete about China". They are there to protect Germany, are they not? "Germany is not paying their bills", he said. "It's very simple", Trump told reporters Wednesday. Esper, questioned about it, delved into this point.

Currently, the share of Germany in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation budget is slightly more than 1.3% of GDP, which is about $ 55 billion.

Defense expenditure figures from 2019 show that only eight of the 30 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members have met the two percent threshold - a figure agreed to by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations in 2006.

When he announced the plans in June, Trump said, "So we're protecting Germany and they're delinquent". Now it is around 1.4 percent. "It should certainly meet the two percent standard and, I would argue, go above and beyond that", he said.

The American plan has sat like a jug of cold water in Germany. "In a negative sense, it was unprecedented that the German government initially only found out about the withdrawal ideas from the newspapers", Beyer told the German Press Agency (dpa) on Wednesday.

The Germans themselves noted that by moving American troops, the Trump administration appears to be working against some of its stated objectives. The U.S. will still be present to help protect Eastern Europeans from a resurgent and more aggressive Moscow.

In this way, the United States distances itself one more step from one of its most faithful allies since the end of World War II.

In a separate row, European Union officials were "furious" with the Trump administration, Bloomberg reported, after the president moved to shut Germany and the rest of the European Union out of White House talks between leaders of Serbia and Kosovo.

The fronts are multiple.

Trump, himself of German ancestry, has long accused NATO's second-largest economy of unfairly enjoying USA protection while promoting cars and other exports.

The Pentagon has announced it will move 11,900 troops, along with its European command headquarters, out of Germany, as it shifts to a more flexible rotational model and reshuffles units closer to NATO's Eastern flank with Russian Federation. In fact, it has imposed extraterritorial sanctions for the companies that participate in its construction, significantly delaying this controversial initiative.

Merkel cited the ongoing coronavirus threat, while at the time, Trump maintained the virus´s spread was in decline.

The president recently spoke to Putin last Friday, the latest in a series of phone calls that CNN's Marshall Cohen has documented as the most sustained period of publicly revealed contact between the two leaders.

The reposition announcement came as relations between Washington and Berlin have become strained.

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