The United States announces the withdrawal of 11,900 troops from Germany to relocate a large part of Belgium and Italy, Pentagon chief Mark Esper announced on Wednesday.
The U.S. administration has decided to withdraw 11,900 troops from Germany to relocate some of them to Belgium and Italy, Pentagon chief Mark Esper said Wednesday.
The United States is also considering relocating forces in Poland and the Baltic states, if an agreement is reached with those states on their status, the Secretary of Defense said during a press conference in Washington.
He assured that the goal was strategic, especially as a deterrent against Russia, but just minutes after the Pentagon chief’s press conference, Donald Trump declared that this withdrawal was due to Germany’s refusal to “pay more”.
“We are tired of being pigeons,” the US president told White House reporters. “We reduce our strengths because they do not pay. It is very simple.”
Of the 34,500 soldiers currently deployed in Germany, about 6,400 will be returned to the United States while the other 5,600 will be relocated to other NATO countries, says Esper. About 2,000 soldiers will thus be distributed between Italy and Belgium.
The US military command in Europe moved to Mons
The US military commander in Europe (Eucom), currently based in Stuttgart, will move to Mons, Belgium, where NATO command is located, saving the US general who traditionally leads the two commands back and forth between the two. two countries.
The US military command for Africa (Africom), which is also based in Stuttgart, may also move, but no decision has yet been made, the Pentagon chief said.
The 2,500 U.S. Air Force personnel stationed at Mildenhall Base in the United Kingdom who were to move to Germany will remain in the United Kingdom.
Esper said the first moves could come in “a few weeks,” but President Trump has hinted that the plan could be revised. “If they started paying their bills, I would think about it.”