"The Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday informed the President of plans to relocate 9,500 soldiers from Germany," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement Tuesday, adding that Trump approved the plan. .
Hoffman stated that "the proposal that was passed not only complies with the President's directive, but will also improve Russian deterrence, strengthen NATO, reassure the Allies, improve the US's strategic flexibility and the operational flexibility of the European Command of the USA, and will take care of our service members and their families. "
However, the plan to cut American forces from Germany, where there are currently some 34,500 employees, has drawn opposition from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, as well as from the United States' allies in Europe.
During a meeting with Trump last week, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that any withdrawal of US troops from Europe would be detrimental to security.
Hoffman said "Pentagon leaders hope to report this plan to defense committees in Congress in the coming weeks, followed by consultations with NATO allies on the way forward."
But a few hours before that statement, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that "no decision has been made on when, the deadlines, how the plan will be implemented."
"It is too early to say whether the troops to be withdrawn from Germany will be brought back to the United States, deployed elsewhere in the world or deployed to Europe, that is part of the ongoing consultations," he said while speaking at an organized event. by the German Institute for Global Affairs and Study.
Trump has long criticized Germany for a number of issues, notably Berlin's failure to meet NATO's goal of spending 2% of GDP on defense.
The United States Army has stationed forces in Germany since the end of World War II, and the presence of more than 200,000 soldiers there on the Cold War front helped deter the Soviet Union from launching an attack on NATO members.
Although the number of US troops in Germany has decreased significantly in recent years, US bases in the country continue to be used by the military due to their strategic location and the presence of US defense infrastructure, such as air bases and medical facilities.