German states call on the US Congress not to withdraw its troops | NATO News

Trump has said he will reduce the number of US troops in Germany by 9,500, citing NATO members not meeting their funding commitments.

The leaders of four German states have called on the US Congress to block plans by President Donald Trump’s administration to withdraw US forces from Germany.

Last month, Trump said he would reduce the number of US troops in Germany from 9,500 to 25,000, criticizing the NATO member for failing to meet the Alliance’s defense spending target. ‘North Atlantic and accusing him of taking advantage of the United States on trade.

The appeal from the leaders of the southern German states, all of which have US bases, went to 13 members of Congress and included Senators Mitt Romney and Jim Inhofe.

“We therefore ask you to support us as we strive not to sever the bond of friendship but to strengthen it, and to ensure the American presence in Germany and Europe in the future,” the prime ministers wrote. of Bavaria, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.

With their bases, combat units, military hospitals and other key infrastructure, the US armed forces in Germany form “the backbone of the US presence in Europe and NATO’s capability to act,” it says. the letter consulted by the Reuters news agency and several German newspapers.

Germany hosts more American troops than any other country in Europe, a legacy of the Allied occupation after WWII.

Abrupt withdrawal

Trump’s announcement in mid-June that he would order troops to return from Germany surprised some American politicians and sparked a bipartisan backlash in Congress, with many saying it would weaken the bloc’s stance against Russia.

The White House insisted that the move “would strengthen Russian deterrence, strengthen NATO, reassure the Allies.”

Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly called Germany a “delinquent” in its contributions to NATO.

Although Berlin does not really owe NATO any money, like many alliance members, it does not meet the commitment made by all member countries to devote 2% of annual economic output to defense.

Members of both houses of Congress worked on legislation that would prevent the president from starting the large troop withdrawal.

A spokesperson for the US Embassy in Berlin declined to comment.

James R. Rhodes