US to withdraw about 12,000 troops from Germany, nearly half of them will stay in Europe

The US will announce later on Wednesday plans to withdraw about 12,000 troops from Germany, but will keep nearly half of them in Europe to address tension with Russia, news wires reported, citing sources from the Pentagon, who spoke on condition of anonymity. They stressed that only a relatively small number of advanced units would move anytime soon. The rest of the troop movements would take years to fully implement.

“It will still be months to plan and years to execute because it is very complex,” one of the officials added, noting potentially billions of dollars in required funding and more planning by the branches of the armed forces.

President Donald Trump announced his intention to cut the number of US troops in Germany to 25,000, faulting the close US ally for failing to meet NATO’s defence spending target and accusing it of taking advantage of America on trade. The premiers of four German states that host US troops have appealed to members of the US Congress to block Trump’s withdrawal.

Defence Secretary Mark Esper is expected to offer further details on the plan at a news conference later on Wednesday, where he is expected to address concerns the move represents a pullback from the NATO alliance, something he champions. Beyond disclosing his plans to move about 5,400 troops elsewhere in Europe, Esper is expected to discuss plans to temporarily deploy additional US-based forces to European nations.

 

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