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Report: Trump ordering 9,500 US troops removed from Germany amid tensions

Installation Management Command, Directorate-Europe's (IMCOM-E) Best Warrior Competition 2020 began Mar. 1, 2020 at U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart. (U.S. Army photo by Jason Johnston)
June 05, 2020

President Trump ordered the removal of thousands of U.S. troops from Germany before September, U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

The order, which officials say was signed by White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, would pull 9,500 troops from the current 34,500 troops stationed in Germany, and limit the troop count to 25,000.

As many as 52,000 U.S. troops are permitted to be in Germany at any one time under current policy.

One official close to the matter said the decision has been under consideration since September, although the decision comes amid recent tensions between the U.S. and Germany.

In May 2020, then-U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell blasted Head of German Delegation to Parliamentary Assembly Andreas Nick, who complained that Grenell was “issuing threats” over Grenell’s pressure against Germany for its lacking NATO spending.

“You always wanted me to stop asking you publicly to pay your NATO obligations and calling for an end to Nord Stream 2. But these are US policies. And I work for the American people,” Grenell said in a May 25 tweet.

Also in May, Grenell had accused Germany of undermining NATO’s nuclear deterrent when German lawmakers called for the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Germany.

“Instead of undermining the solidarity that forms the basis of NATO’s nuclear deterrence, it is now time for Germany to meet its commitments to its allies and to continuously invest in NATO’s nuclear participation,” Grenell wrote.

In August 2019, Grenell had suggested the U.S. could pull thousands of troops from the country if it did not increase its required two-percent contribution to NATO.

“It is offensive to assume that the U.S. taxpayers will continue to pay for more than 50,000 Americans [U.S. troops] in Germany, but the Germans get to spend their surplus on domestic programs,” Grenell had said at the time.

“There are 34,000 U.S. troops in Germany protecting Germans and Europeans,” Grenell also said. “Americans don’t understand why Germany isn’t meeting its NATO obligations & helping the West. And they are growing very annoyed by it.”