German Defense Minister: No Official Confirmation of US Troop Withdrawal
By VOA News June 08, 2020
Germany's Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said Monday she has received no official confirmation on the reported U.S. decision to withdraw more than a quarter of American troops stationed in Germany.
The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump had ordered the Pentagon to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Germany by 9,500 to 25,000. The New York Times reported Saturday that U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper had approved the move.
During the news conference in Berlin, Kramp-Karrenbauer said the German government had only seen the news reports and could not speculate further on what might happen. She did add the "the presence of United States soldiers in Germany serves the overall security of the NATO alliance.".
Currently there are 34,500 American service members permanently assigned in Germany as part of a long-standing arrangement with America's NATO ally. Kramp-Karrenbauer said American soldiers have integrated well and have become a real component of German society.
The reported troop withdrawal would be in keeping with Trump's "America First" overall foreign policy and his often-stated belief that U.S. allies must shoulder more of the burden for their own defense.
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