The United States plans to withdraw 9,500 troops from Germany. This decision shook the transatlantic alliance. German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has refused to comment on the matter as Germany has received no confirmation. The number of troops will go down to 25,000, this is a big issue as the presence of US troops in Germany serves the entire security of the NATO alliance, that is the basis on which all of them work together.
Through this action, Trump is indirectly threatening NATO, he has warned them that if they do not increase their defence spending to 2% of the GDP, the United States will leave NATO. This is so that the US can decrease the cost incurred by providing transatlantic defense against Russia.
If this proposal of withdrawing troops goes through, it would do more harm than good to the United States and all NATO members. A strategic advantage would be given to Kremlin, there would be a decrease in the United States’ ability to operate in Africa and the Middle East. Worst of all, the relationship between NATO and the US will be strained.
Germany has always welcomed US troops since the end of World War II. At the height of the cold war, there were as many as US 400,000 troops to fend of the Russian Military. Though the number is much lesser today, the presence of the US military in Germany is important to deter Russia.
The United States spends over $36 billion on European defense every year, if the United States leaves, it won’t be easy for its European allies like Germany, UK, and France to cover this amount. This comes at a time when the countries are together standing against China.
Germany’s relationship with Washington has been very strained during Trump’s reign, thankfully experts believe it is going to be very hard to take this action before the November elections.