Pentagon to remove 12,000 US troops from Germany

Mitt Romney slams Trump for plan to remove thousands of U.S. troops from Germany

The Wall Street Journal isn't a fan of President Donald Trump's plan to pull almost 12,000 USA troops out of Germany.

A fighter squadron and elements of a fighter wing will also shift from Germany to Italy, positioning those fighters closer to the Black Sea Region.

But another Senate Republican slammed the decision to cut troops in Germany as "weak". The plan will cost less than $ 10 billion.

He stressed that the action is part of his broader plan to reposition USA military forces around the world to better address key threats and enhance flexibility, including with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, which is focused on deterring a possible Russian threat to Europe.

Currently, the share of Germany in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation budget is slightly more than 1.3% of GDP, which is about $ 55 billion. The announcement comes after President Trump stated his desire to withdraw troops from Germany.

There has been some resistance in the U.S. Congress against any troop withdrawals from Germany, even from some Republicans who say the move would be a gift to Russian Federation and a threat to U.S. national security.

Esper said that he expects the changes to cost several billion dollars. An additional 2,500 U.S. airmen now in the United Kingdom but scheduled to re-base in Germany, will also remain where they are.

Germany, despite a promise to increase the defence budget to 2% of GDP, did not.

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"Instead of strengthening North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the troop withdrawal will weaken the alliance", Norbert Roettgen, a senior member of Chancellor Angel Merkel's conservatives, told Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper. It does not pay the bills of the North Atlantic Alliance, and so for many years.

But NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg struck an upbeat tone in a statement, saying allies had been briefed by the United States.

But Hertling said that "what is obvious to me: having turned 12 in Germany and participating in the last change in force structure between 2004 and 2011, is not a "strategic" movement".

Furthermore, Hertling was one of many who argued that the president's decision is "to punish Merkel" and "is specifically a personal insult directed by Trump at our great and very ally Germany ally".

Esper denied that the move was the result of Trump's unhappy relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "The reduction of the American troops does not favor the security interests of Germany or North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and does not make geopolitical sense for the United States". "That's not treating North Atlantic Treaty Organisation fairly, but it really isn't treating the United States fairly". However, NATO allies had agreed to reach that goal by 2024.

"The focus then changed to non-warfighting assignments, such as fostering the safety capability of former Soviet bloc nations, prosecuting" emergency management" operations from the Balkans, and providing support to United States operations in Africa and the Middle East.

"We don't want to be the suckers any more", Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday about the decision.

"Unfortunately, this seriously damages German-American relations", said Markus Soeder. "You can't see a military benefit. It weakens North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the United States".

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