US to relocate more troops in Germany than previously thought
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Defense Secretary Mark Esper has outlined proposals that foresee bringing about 6,400 troops back to the US and relocating another 5,400 within Europe. That entails reducing the presence in Germany by roughly one third.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed on Wednesday that troops will be pulled and relocated from Germany. The move is set to be the largest shake-up of troops in Germany since the end of World War II.
Wednesday’s announcement was the first time the US set out concrete proposals on its “European Strategic Force Posture Review.”
A German government spokesman had responded to a DW question in Berlin earlier this week by saying that details on the long-touted plan would come imminently.
Under the plan, the US will send home some 6,400 forces and relocate 5,400 out of Germany and to other European countries in Europe, the US Defense Department said. Roughly 25,000 troops are set to remain in Germany.
The reassignment will see troop members moving to Italy and Belgium, but some could also go to Poland and the Baltic states, if Warsaw agrees to an accord that the two sides have been working on, Esper said.
He added that the troop reassignments were part of a larger plan to update US strategy against Russia. “We are following the boundary east, where our newest allies are,” the Defense Secretary said.
‘Germany should pay more’
Esper did not explicitly say whether the decision to move troops had to do with President Trump’s comments regarding Germany. He has blasted the European ally for not investing enough in defense and being “delinquent” in its NATO payments.
But Esper did back the president’s premise. “To give President Trump credit, we have seen an increase in defense spending by NATO,” the Defense Secretary said of White House efforts to get more countries to invest in NATO.
He said that Germany was a “rich country” and that “Germany can and should pay more to its defense.”
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