US President Donald Trump has ordered the military to clear out 9,500 troops from Germany, a senior US official said on Friday, a move prone to raise concerns in Europe concerning the US persistence for the continent.
The move would reduce US troops numbers in Germany to 25,000, from the 34,500 currently there.
The official, who failed to want to be identified, said the move was the consequence of months of labor by America’s top military officer, General Mark Milley, chairman with the joint chiefs of staff, along with nothing with regards to tensions between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who thwarted Trump’s wish to host a G7 meeting this month.
A 2nd senior administration official said the 9,500 troops would be sent elsewhere, some to Poland, some to other allied countries, even though some would return home.
This official said there seemed to be less demand for the big contingent in Germany resulting from overall increased defense spending by the US-led NATO military alliance.
Another official said the alteration was ordered in a very memorandum signed recently by Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien. The official said the usa started focusing on the blueprint in September and had just now got the pieces in place.
Senator Jack Reed, the very best Democrat on Senate Armed Services Committee, said the move was “petty and preposterous.”
Andrew Weiss in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said the move was really a “huge gift” for Russia.
“With one fell swoop, Trump is showing yet again that our alliances are merely a political plaything,” Weiss said on Twitter.
The White House stated it had no announcements but Trump “continually reassesses the ideal posture for the usa military forces.”
From the statement, White House National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said america remained committed to dealing with Germany on defense together with other issues.
The move, first reported via the Wall Street Journal, will be the latest twist in relations between Washington and Berlin, that contain often been strained during Trump’s presidency. Trump has pressed Germany to enhance defense spending and accused Berlin to become a “captive” of Russia simply because of its energy reliance.
About 17,000 US civilian employees support US troops in Germany. It really is believed america also provides nuclear warheads there.