U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade prepare to board an airplane before an airborne operation at Aviano Air Base, Italy, June 24, 2020.
Spc. Ryan Lucas | U.S. Army photo
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has chosen an option to withdraw American military personnel from Germany and redistribute those forces elsewhere, the Pentagon said in a statement Tuesday evening.
“The secretary of defense and the president of the chiefs of staff informed the president yesterday about the reassignment plans for 9,500 troops from Germany. The approved proposal not only meets the president̵
“Pentagon leaders look forward to presenting this plan to Congress defense committees in the coming weeks, followed by consultations with NATO allies on the way forward,” added Hoffman.
The movement of 9,500 US service members from Germany resurfaces claims made by the Trump administration that NATO’s ally has been “delinquent in their payments” to NATO.
Trump often dressed NATO’s counterparts and threatened to reduce U.S. military support if the Allies did not increase spending. Last year, while in London, Trump identified German Chancellor Angela Merkel for not having reached the 2% of GDP spending target set in 2014.
“So we’re paying 4 to 4.3% when Germany pays 1 to 1.2%, at most 1.2%, of a much smaller GDP. It’s not fair,” Trump said to December. According to NATO data, the United States spends less than Trump has noted, 3.42% of GDP on defense, while Germany now spends 1.38%, an increase of around 11% over the 2018.
Read more: Here’s what every NATO country contributes financially to the strongest military alliance in the world
Last week, senior administration officials discussed the visit of Polish President Andrzej Duda to the White House, the first of a foreign leader since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. White House officials would not offer details of the partial withdrawal of US forces from Germany and would not discuss the possibility that members of the service could be transferred to Poland.
Instead, officials touted Warsaw’s financial commitments to NATO, as well as the approximately $ 16 billion in foreign military sales, which includes the United States’ most expensive weapon system, the F-35 Lightning II fighter.
Administration officials also addressed questions on the matter to the White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien, published in the Wall Street Journal.
“The Cold War practice of garrisoning large numbers of troops with their families on massive bases in places like Germany is now partially obsolete. Modern warfare is increasingly expedition and requires platforms with extended reach, flexibility and resistance While air bases and logistics hubs remain important, the Cold War-style troop garrison makes less military and fiscal sense than in the 1970s, “O’Brien wrote in an editorial published June 21.
He added that the 25,000 US troops expected to remain in Germany still represent a “strong” commitment to Germany by the United States.