Trump Orders 9,500 U.S. Troops Out of Germany
June 6, 2020 (EIRNS)—The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that President Donald Trump has approved plans to reduce the number of U.S. troops stationed in Germany by 9,500 to 25,000. The plan includes a cap of 25,000 on the number of troops that can be in Germany at any one time, including units that rotate in and out or are deployed in for training exercises. The Journal reports that the change was ordered by the White House in a memorandum signed recently by White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, the officials said yesterday.
The Washington Post reported less than an hour later, that the plan has been closely held within the White House, and that it was pushed by Richard Grenell, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, but that Berlin has not been officially notified of the plan. It was also unclear whether or not the plan had been briefed to Congress before it became public. Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called Trump’s order “petty and preposterous,” claiming that it’s “another favor” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that it “further strains relations with our allies.”
There’s no indication in either the Journal or the Post story as to where the 9,500 troops might go, but the reports did perk up hopeful ears in Warsaw. “I deeply hope that as a result of the many talks that we had ... part of the troops based today in Germany which are being removed by the United States ... will indeed come to Poland,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told private radio RMF24. “The decision is now on the U.S. side.”
At least a few thousand U.S. troops are in Poland now for an exercise which kicked off yesterday at Poland’s Drawsko Pomorskie training site in northwest Poland. The exercise is part of the Defender Europe 2020 exercise with 6,000 U.S. and Polish troops.