Donald Trump confirms US pulling some troops out of ‘delinquent’ Germany
- US president says European ally does not spend enough on defence as required by Nato and treats America ‘badly’ on trade
- Number of soldiers to be cut to 25,000
US President Donald Trump on Monday said he is cutting the number of US troops in Germany because Berlin is “delinquent” in its contributions to Nato and treats the US “badly” on trade.
“It’s a tremendous cost to the United States,” he said. “So we’re removing a number down to, we’re putting the number down to 25,000 soldiers.”
There are around 34,500 US soldiers currently stationed in Germany along with additional civilian personnel.
The president complained to reporters that Germany does not spend enough on defence as required by the Nato alliance. He said that until Germany spends more, the United States will remove its troops.
Trump’s comments reflected the first official confirmation of the cut, which was initially reported by The Wall Street Journal on June 5.
A senior US official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Reuters the move was the result of months of work by the US military leadership and had nothing to do with tensions between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who thwarted his plan to host an in-person Group of Seven (G7) summit this month.
But other sources familiar with the matter said a number of US officials at the White House, State Department and Pentagon were surprised by the decision and they offered explanations ranging from Trump’s pique over the G7 to the influence of Richard Grenell, the former US ambassador to Germany and a Trump loyalist.
Reuters and Agence France-Presse