Protection Secretary Mark Esper will current President Donald Trump with a sequence of choices Monday to withdraw 1000’s of US troops from Germany, with many transferring to jap Europe, the Pentagon mentioned Saturday.
“Secretary Esper met with President Trump on Wednesday to debate our presence in Europe,” mentioned Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.
“On Monday the Secretary will temporary the President on the White Home on choices for our drive posture in Germany.”
In accordance with two senior Pentagon officers, the plan requires slicing the everlasting US troop presence in Germany to 25,000, as Trump introduced June 15, for a discount of 9,500 troops.
A few of the 9,500 will return to the US, whereas others shall be transferred to former Soviet-bloc international locations, the 2 officers mentioned, talking on grounds of anonymity.
That shift, they added, can be meant as a transparent warning to President Vladimir Putin of Russia, whose army ambitions have been underscored by the 2014 annexation of the Crimea.
The 2 officers didn’t say to which European nation the troops is perhaps moved, as that’s among the many choices to be offered to the US president.
However Trump, assembly on the White Home on Wednesday with Polish president Andrzej Duda, mentioned Wednesday that Poland can be one of many European international locations receiving US troops.
The 2 males mentioned a few of these troops can be completely primarily based there, however that almost all can be rotated via the nation.
NATO promised Russia in 1997 that it might not set up everlasting bases within the former East bloc. Thus far, with tensions rising, the Atlantic alliance has solely rotated troops via the international locations geographically closest to Russia.
However the US sees the annexation of Crimea and the persevering with battle on the Ukrainian-Russian border as releasing itself from the sooner dedication.
Furthermore, one of many two Pentagon officers mentioned, these deployments shall be primarily based on bilateral agreements between the US and the involved international locations, and won’t be achieved beneath the aegis of NATO.
The rotation system affords higher flexibility and a better degree of unpredictability — making it extra destabilizing for Russia, the official added.
However the calendar for the troop actions stays obscure, with the US presidential election simply over 4 months away.
Trump’s announcement of a troop shift got here not lengthy after German Chancellor Angela Merkel introduced she wouldn’t attend a G-7 summit the US president wished to host this month. The 2 have lengthy had a strained relationship.
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