Almost 12,000 US Troops To Be Pulled From Germany, Pentagon Says

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 1, 2020

A report published on Wednesday by London-based think tank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), stated that Germany no longer believes it can expect the US' help against the threat of Russian Federation and China.

The total number of troops that will be removed from Germany will be 11,900, not the 9,500 that has been previously reported, leaving 24,000 in the country.

Additionally, the headquarters of the U.S. European Command and Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) will be relocated from Stuttgart, Germany, to Mons, Belgium where the NATO Special Operations Command is located.

But Esper did back the president's premise.

"As we face a more unpredictable world, we are stronger and safer when we stand together", he said.

Since World War Two, the United States military has considered Germany to be one of its most strategic locations overseas, and it serves as a critical logistics hub for troop movements not just within Europe, but to the Middle East, Africa and beyond.

Others would permanently move to ally Italy, and the US military's headquarters would move from Germany to Belgium.

The almost 4,500 members of the Second Cavalry Regiment will return to the United States.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Esper's announcement "underlines the continued commitment by the United States to NATO and to European security".

The 2,500 airmen based in the United Kingdom, responsible for refueling and special ops, will not be moving to Germany as originally planned.

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said the move supported US strategic goals and would "strengthen North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and improve operational efficiency".

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.

On the House side, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued a cautious statement, saying, "Some of the proposed moves clearly have merit". An extra 2,500 USA airmen now in the united kingdom, but scheduled to re-base in Germany, will stay wherever they are. That doesn't make sense.

"We're reducing the force because they're not paying their bills; it's very simple", Trump said on Wednesday.

The current plan does not foresee a permanent troop re-assignment to Poland but, according to U.S. officials, could result in the "possibility to reassign more troops to Poland and the Baltics" on a rotational basis.

President Trump has repeatedly complained about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies not meeting the group's defense spending target of 2% of GDP, while threatening retaliation.

The White House announced the move after repeated demands that Berlin pay a larger share of security costs for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Esper and other Pentagon officials say the redeployments will begin in "a matter of weeks", though they admit numerous details have yet to be worked out.

The changes toward a more flexible rotational model of deployment are part of broader changes in USA military strategy to keep adversaries on their toes. "It'll cost in the" single-digit" countless dollars, Esper said.

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