US to unveil plans soon for repositioning forces in Europe: officials
Washington is getting ready to unveil its plans for repositioning of US forces in Europe in the coming days, including a reduction in troop levels in Germany, sources in both countries say.
US President Donald Trump approved plans in late June to withdraw 9,500 American troops from Germany, and was to present them first to the US Congress and then to its NATO allies.
“This week there will be a coordinated announcement by the Americans and by us,” a German defense ministry spokesman said, calling it a “complicated” matter involving several countries and governments.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed that the details of the moves could be made public by “mid-week.”
“Calls are taking place. We are not at the point where we are ready to discuss the content of these discussions,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Trump, who accuses Germany of profiting financially from the American military presence, announced on June 15 his intention to reduce troop levels there.
The idea is to bring some troops back to the United States, and redeploy others to former Soviet bloc countries, with the aim of deterring Russian President Vladimir Putin, who displayed his military ambitions by annexing Crimea in 2014.
Some troops will be stationed permanently while most will be rotated in and out of the former Soviet bloc countries, a system the Pentagon believes is more flexible, unpredictable and therefore more destabilizing for Russia.
The timetable for these movements remains in flux, however, with less than 100 days to go before the US elections.