WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has ordered the military to reduce the number of troops it maintains in Germany by more than a quarter in the coming months.
According to reports in US media, the Defense Department would cut the number of military personnel by 9,500 from the current 34,500 permanently assigned to Germany postings.
This will set a cap of 25,000 on how many US troops could be inside German at any one time, whether in permanent postings or temporary rotations. The troops would be sent elsewhere, some to Poland or other allied countries, while some would return home.
The move would significantly reduce the US commitment to European defence under NATO, though it could also impact Pentagon operations related to Africa and the Middle East.
White House and Pentagon officials have declined to confirm or deny the story, which comes amid tensions between the Trump administration and European allies over longstanding cooperation agreements.
The United States has said that Germany spends enough for its own defense. The move is likely to raise concerns in Europe about the US commitment to the region.
John Ullyot, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement that as commander in chief, Trump is always reassessing the presence of US forces overseas.
“The United States remains committed to working with our strong ally Germany to ensure our mutual defense, as well as on many other important issues,” Ullyot said.
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