According to the Pentagon spokesperson, Jonathan Hoffman, a plan to withdraw 9,500 US troops from Germany has been approved by the US President, Donald Trump.
This was disclosed in a statement released by Pentagon on Tuesday June 30, 2020.
The plan which was presented to the president on Monday by Defense Secretary, Mark Espern and Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army, would benefit troops and their families as the plan is set to improve strategic flexibility.
Jonathan Hoffman said, “The proposal that was approved not only meets the president’s directive, it will also enhance Russian deterrence.
“It will strengthen NATO, reassure allies, improve U.S. strategic flexibility and U.S. European Command’s operational flexibility, and take care of our service members and their families.”
The statement further stated that congressional defense committees would be briefed on the plan by Pentagon after which it would consult with the NATO allies on the way forward.
“Pentagon leaders look forward to briefing this plan to the congressional defense committees in the coming weeks, followed by consultations with NATO allies on the way forward.
“We will be providing timely updates to potentially affected personnel, their families and communities as planning progresses,” reads the statement.
In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal last week, Robert O’Brien, Trump’s national security adviser disclosed that some troops currently stationed in Germany would be reassigned to other countries especially in Europe.
Disclosing this, he said, “Several thousand troops currently assigned to Germany may be reassigned to other countries in Europe.”
“Thousands may expect to redeploy to the Indo-Pacific, where the U.S. maintains a military presence in Guam, Hawaii, Alaska and Japan, as well as deployments in locations like Australia,” he added.
On Monday, a day before the Pentagon statement was released, lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction over the plan to withdraw troops from Germany for fears that it would weaken NATO.
A bipartisan group of US senators announced plans to amend Senate’s version of the annual defense policy bill to limit President’s ability to withdraw troops from Germany.
Speaking about the troops withdrawal on Tuesday, Adam Smith, House Armed Services Committee Chairman said Congress especially Smith’s panel would possibly take legislative actions to block the plan because it is not a good idea.
“It is possible that there is a scenario where repositioning troops out of Germany is in our national security interests.
“The president has not made that case to date, the [Department of Defense] has not made that case to date, and the president is doing it in a very haphazard manner,” said Smith.
“We need to know what they’re talking about, and it’s appropriate for the moment to say: ‘Yeah, hold up until we know where you’re going and what you’re doing on this.’ We don’t think it’s a good idea,” he said.
In a meeting in Washington with Polish leader Andrzej Duda lamst week, President Trump said the US was panning moving some troops from Germany to Poland while some troops would be made to return to the US.
“Some will be coming home and some will be going to other places. Poland would be one of those other places,” Trump said.