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Trump Proceeds with Plan for Reducing U.S. Troops in Germany

July 29, 2020 (EIRNS)—Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced today the plan for reposturing U.S. troops out of Germany to other locations. The plan announced today is the result of President Donald Trump’s directive to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Germany and for a review of the force dispositions underway in all seven combatant commands, in line with the 2018 National Defense Strategy. Esper gave no timetable for implementation of the plan for Europe, but, according to news reports, some units could be ready to move within weeks.

The total number of troops that will be removed from Germany will be 11,900, not the 9,500 that has been previously reported, leaving 24,000 in the country. Of that total, 5,600 will be shifted to other locations in Europe, while the remainder, made up of the approximately 4,500 members of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, will be sent back to the United States. The shifts in Europe include the movement of two headquarters, U.S. European Command and Special Operations Command Europe, to Belgium, while an Air Force fighter squadron and elements of a fighter wing will be moved to Italy, where they will be closer to the Balkans and the Black Sea.

“These changes achieve the core principles of enhancing U.S. and NATO deterrence of Russia; strengthening NATO; reassuring Allies; and, improving U.S. strategic flexibility and EUCOM operational flexibility,” Esper said.

Simultaneous with the briefing at the Pentagon, President Trump was answering questions about the plan at the White House. “Germany is not paying their bills,” he said. “They’re delinquent. It’s simple.”

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