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Pentagon says Trump greenlit ‘redeployment’ of 9,500 US troops from Germany as Congress seeks to problem plan

Pentagon says Trump greenlit ‘redeployment’ of 9,500 US troops from Germany as Congress seeks to challenge plan

US President Donald Trump’s plan to attract down the US contingent in Germany has been set in movement, with the Pentagon saying that 9,500 troops out of 34,500 stationed there might be eliminated pending consultations with allies.

“The Secretary of Protection and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers briefed the President yesterday on plans to redeploy 9,500 troops from Germany,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman mentioned in a press release on Tuesday, noting that the proposal had already been accepted.

The plan to cut back the US army presence in Germany was made public by Trump earlier this month. He didn’t reveal the timeline for the withdrawal, and it was not instantly clear the place they might be heading. The US contingent in Germany is predicted to be slashed by 9,500 troops, that means that Washington will nonetheless have a large 25,000-strong presence there.

Trump mentioned that the pullout was in response to Berlin falling wanting assembly a 2 p.c GDP threshold in NATO protection spending, which was agreed again below the Obama administration. Though solely eight nations thus far have met the goal, Trump directed his anger at Berlin, calling it “delinquent” in its funds to NATO and arguing that the nation owes “billions” to the US-led army alliance.

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Whereas Trump’s critics used the looming withdrawal to pounce on the Republican president, accusing him of pandering to Russia, Trump has identified that whereas “some” of the launched forces “might be coming residence,” the remaining might be redeployed to “different locations.”

Though Hoffman didn’t point out the place the troops could be “redeployed,” saying solely that the plan “may even improve Russian deterrence, strengthen NATO” and “reassure Allies,” the most certainly vacation spot is believed to be Poland, which has already expressed curiosity in internet hosting the US troops.

Throughout a current go to to Washington, Polish President Andrzej Duda mentioned that Warsaw requested the US to not take away the troops from Europe in any respect, as a substitute relocating them to Poland to fend off “Russian aggression.” Trump agreed that Poland certainly “could be one” of the locations in Europe the place the US troops could be heading, however that some would “come residence.”

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US President Donald Trump holds a joint news conference with Poland's President Andrzej Duda in the Rose Garden at the White House, June 24, 2020.
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There have been few particulars concerning the timeline and the situation of the removing, with the Pentagon promising to offer “well timed updates to doubtlessly affected personnel, their households and communities as planning progresses.”

With uncertainty reigning over the way forward for the German contingent, there was rising opposition to the plan in Congress, not simply from the Democrats however from Trump’s personal celebration. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), rating member on the Home Armed Providers Committee,  mentioned Tuesday that he expects an modification to be launched within the committee to stall the drawdown. 

In a separate transfer, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) ready an modification that, if handed, would see the funds earmarked for the redeployment to be frozen till the secretary of protection “verifies” to Congress that the pullout wouldn’t damage NATO, US army operations or the personnel.

Hoffman mentioned that the Pentagon might be “briefing this plan to the congressional protection committees within the coming weeks,” earlier than reaching out to NATO allies.

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