AMERICA FIRST: Trump Directs U.S. Troop Reduction in Germany
The Wall Street Journal reported that President Donald Trump is instructing the Pentagon to remove thousands of American troops from Germany by September.
U.S. government officials announced this development on June 5, 2020.
This move would scale back the U.S. troop presence in Germany by 9,500 troops from the 34,500 troops that are permanently stationed there.
The move also limits the number of U.S. service members who are in Germany at any given moment to a total of 25,000 troops, which includes “permanently assigned and rotational or temporary forces.” Under the current policy, total troop levels can rise up to 52,000 units as these units “rotate in and out or take part in training exercises.”
This change in policy was directed by the White House in a memo that was recently signed by the White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, according to official reports on June 5.
One person well aware of the decision said that it has been discussed among administration officials since September and was not connected to the decision by German Chancellor Angela Merkel not to participate in a G-7 meeting that President Trump was expected to host in Washington at the end of June.
This comes at time when U.S. relations with Germany have become more tense regarding Germany’s level of military spending.
Richard Grenell, the former ambassador to Germany, has long advocated for cutting troops based on complaints that the German government isn’t spending enough money for its own defense.
Last year, Germany’s defense minister promised to reach the NATO goal of spending 2% of its GDP on defense, but the target date meeting for the objective is 2031.
For America First advocates, who have long pushed for withdrawing troops, the Trump administration’s decision to remove troops is good news.
Due to the defense industry’s influence, the U.S. has become militarily over-stretched and has placed hundreds of thousands of troops in countries that are more than capable of defending themselves.