Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced on Wednesday (July 29) that the United States will begin withdrawing about 12,000 troops from Germany. Esper said that 5,400 of the soldiers will be deployed to other parts of Europe including, Belgium, Italy, and Poland. The rest of the troops will return home, but will likely be redeployed to Europe in the future. There will still be 24,000 troops stationed in Germany.
"The current [U.S. European Command] plan will reposition approximately 11,900 military personnel from Germany, from roughly 36,000 down to 24,000, in a manner that will strengthen NATO, enhance the deterrence of Russia, and meet the other principles I set forth," Esper told reporters at the Pentagon.
In addition to the troop withdrawal, the EUCOM headquarters will be moved from Stuttgart, Germany to Belgium.
President Donald Trump said the decision was made in part because Germany has not adequately increased funding for NATO.
"We don't want to be the suckers anymore," Trump told reporters at the White House. "We're reducing the force because they're not paying their bills; it's very simple."
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