“According to the current plan of the European command of the US armed forces, approximately 11.9 thousand American troops will be withdrawn from Germany, about 6.4 thousand to be returned home”, Esper said.
About 5,600 of the 11,900 troops will be sent to Italy and Belgium.
The head of the Pentagon noted that the US does not plan to transfer part of the military from Germany to the Asia-Pacific region at the moment.
Esper added that the Pentagon may deploy additional forces in Poland and the Baltic States in the future.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon decided to transfer 9,5 thousand military personnel from Germany to Italy and Belgium. At the same time, the headquarters of the European command of the US armed forces will be moved from Germany to Belgium.
On June 24, US President Donald Trump announced the transfer of part of the US troops from Germany to Poland. Earlier, the head of the White House promised to reduce the military contingent in Germany to 25 thousand people if Berlin, which “pays Russia billions of dollars,” does not begin to fulfill obligations for payments to NATO. He also spoke of Germany’s large debts to NATO and Berlin’s refusal to “pay the bills.”
After that, the US Senate introduced a bill to ban the withdrawal of US troops from Europe in general and from Germany in particular. In turn, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced an increase in the US military presence in Europe. There were also reports that the Pentagon is “deliberately slowing down” the process of withdrawing part of the American military contingent from Germany amid the deterioration of relations with the commander-in-chief, and the American “generals actually ignore” the instructions of the US President.
On July 1, Trump approved a plan to withdraw part of the US troops from Germany.