Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, and 21 other HASC Republicans, on Tuesday, wrote to President Donald Trump urging him to reject reported proposals to reduce U.S. force posture in Germany by 9,500 personnel and further restrict the number of troops permitted in Germany at one time to 25,000.
Trump is said to have has signed off on a plan to reduce the total of troops stationed in Germany from 34,500 to no more than 25,000, according to reports by The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, but German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told reporters that Berlin hasn’t yet been informed of any such move.
A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, confirmed to The Associated Press that there are plans to move troops, saying some could go to Poland while others could go elsewhere.
Thornberry said he decision is part of the president’s and Department of Defense efforts to review combatant commands around the globe, the official said.
In their letter, Reps Thornberry (T-TX), Bacon (R-NE), Banks (R-IN), Bergman (R-MI), Bishop (R-UT), Byrne (R-AL), Cheney (R-WY), Conaway (R-TX), Cook (R-CA), Gallagher (R-WI), Graves (R-MO), Hartzler (R-MO), Kelly (R-MS), Lamborn (R-CO), Mitchell (R-MI), Rogers (R-AL), Scott (R-GA), Stefanik (R-NY), Turner (R-OH), Waltz (R-FL), Wilson (R-SC), and Wittman (R-VA) said:
“We strongly believe that NATO allies, such as Germany, should do more to contribute to our joint defense efforts. At the same time, we also know that the forward stationing of American troops since the end of World War II has helped to prevent another world war and, most importantly, has helped make America safer.
“In Europe, the threats posed by Russia have not lessened, and we believe that signs of a weakened U.S. commitment to NATO will encourage further Russian aggression and opportunism. In addition, the overall limit on troops would prevent us from conducting the exercises that are necessary for the training and readiness of our forces and those of our allies. The troop limit would also significantly reduce the number of U.S. forces that can flow through Germany for deployment to bases around the world, causing serious logistical challenges.”