The U.S. military says it plans to withdraw about 12,000 troops from Germany. The news came on Wednesday amid President Donald Trump’s long-running strained relationship with Berlin.
The news agency Reuters reported such information. However, the United States has said it will keep half of its troops in Europe to deal with tensions with Russia.
Germany has a large contingent of 36,000 US troops. Donald Trump has expressed his desire to withdraw one-third of them.
Relations with this close ally of the United States have been strained as NATO has failed to meet its defense spending targets. It has also been accused of taking advantage of trade with the United States.
“We don’t want to be the suckers anymore,” Mr Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday shortly after the move was announced. “We’re reducing the force because they’re not paying their bills; it’s very simple.”
However, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esbar did not present the issue like his president. The army’s deployment is part of an effort to prevent Moscow from intervening after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
Of the 12,000 troops withdrawn from Germany, 6,000 are expected to remain in Europe. Many of the remaining troops will be brought back to US bases. But they may be temporarily deployed to Europe in turn without their families.