Donald Trump is believed to be planning to cut US troops presence in Germany by 28 percent over the coming months, bringing the current total of 35,000 personnel down to around 25,000. The move would fall in line with previous threats from President Trump over Angela Merkel’s failure to meet NATO spending commitments for over a decade. But DW correspondent Teri Schultz warned the removal of troops from a key military hub such as Germany would leave the US losing “a lot of manoeuvre ability”.
Ms Schultz said: “There is no reason, militarily, that the US should want to pull troops out of Germany.
“It’s probably the major military hub in Europe and it’s used not as President Trump often portrays it to protect Germany or to protect Europe but as a staging ground and a training ground for US operations elsewhere in the world.
“President Trump would lose a lot of manoeuvre ability if he were to pull troops out of Germany which is the headquarters of the US Africa command.
“We don’t understand it from a military standpoint.”
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Asked why President Trump would consider reducing his strategic advantage, Ms Schultz said: “It makes absolutely no strategic sense.
“It makes absolutely no strategic sense. There are stories floating around that he’s angry at Chancellor Merkel again for Germany’s very low defence spending – it won’t reach the two percent level for more than another decade at best.
“Or that he’s angry at her for not agreeing to come to a G7 meeting scheduled this month because she said, ‘the stage of the coronavirus threat is simply not at a point where I want to travel’.”
While confirmation of the move has yet to come from the White House, a key ally of the US President said Mr Trump is set on pulling troops from Germany.
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But on Tuesday, Germany’s Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer claimed the US had not informed Berlin of its plans.
Ms Kraut-Karrenbauer said: ”First of all, there’s no official confirmation of these plans,”
“The story has only been published in one media outlet, and as long as we don’t have an official confirmation, no reaction is needed.”
However, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had a phone conversation with the US President earlier this week, and a NATO official said that they had talked about the “US military posture in Europe as they always do.”
Nothing suggested Trump had deliberated his plan with Nato officials beforehand.