Trump approves a plan to withdraw US troops from Germany

US President Donald Trump has approved a plan to withdraw 9,500 US soldiers currently stationed in Germany, that this plan be presented "in the coming weeks" to Congress and then to allies in NATO, the Pentagon announced.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement that Defense Secretary Mark Thomas Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the US Army, General Mark Millie, "presented on Monday this plan to redeploy 9,500 soldiers outside Germany." He was referring to the June 15 Trump cut that accused Germany of financially benefiting from the US military presence.

"The approved proposal not only responds to the president's directives, it will also increase deterrence in the face of Russia, strengthen NATO, reassure allies, and improve the strategic flexibility of the United States and the operational leadership of the US military in Europe," the spokesman said.

He added that Pentagon officials will be notified of "the defense committees in Congress in both chambers in the coming weeks, and then they will consult with allies on how to move forward."

The spokesman did not specify in which countries these American forces could be deployed, but Trump said during his meeting with his Polish counterpart Andre Doda last week at the White House that "Poland will be one of those other places in Europe."

According to two senior Pentagon officials, some of the soldiers will be returned to the United States, while the rest will be sent to countries in the former Soviet bloc, with the aim of sending a clear message to Russia whose military ambitions became clear when it annexed Crimea in 2014.



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