More House Republicans urge Trump not to withdraw US troops in Germany

The letter also follows a similar request by more than 20 Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee, including panel chairman, Representative Mac Thornberry, earlier this month asking the White House to reconsider its plan to withdraw approximately 9,500 US soldiers from Germany.

There are approximately 34,000 American troops currently stationed in Germany.

The latest group of Republican lawmakers, led by Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran, argue that reducing the number of U.S. troops in Germany will have a negative impact. the ability of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to deter Russian aggression.

“As Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, we write today to express our concern about your administration’s plans to significantly reduce the number of US service members stationed in Germany,” the letter says.

Trump indicates he is not moving to reduce the number of US troops in Germany

“This is not the time to take any action that could cause the (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s regime to question the credibility of NATO’s deterrent, or it could lead our allies and NATO partners to doubt the commitment of the United States. with our collective security, “he adds, noting that Russia” has not yet restored Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and its evil activities across the continent have continued unabated. “

Republican lawmakers continue to express concern over the lack of coordination with key US allies over the decision to implement a substantial reduction in US military personnel stationed in Germany.

“We are concerned that many of our allies have not been consulted on the replenishment of American force. To ensure that free and open societies triumph over the Vladimir Putin regime and the Chinese Communist Party, the United States must continue to build and maintain a coalition united of like-minded allies. The withdrawal of thousands of troops from Germany will only complicate this crucial effort and, in turn, put the national security of the United States at risk, “he says.

Lt. Col. Carla Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson, told CNN in a statement Tuesday: “The department is working with the US European Command. According to the president’s directive. As described in the National Defense Strategy , the force posture and employment must be adaptable to explain the uncertainty that exists in the changing global strategic environment. As we evaluate the force posture options, the department’s priorities are to increase deterrence against Russia, strengthen NATO reassure our Allies and give the United States greater strategic and operational flexibility consistent with the NDS. “

O’Brien wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday that troop reduction in Germany was essential to “counter China and Russia, two competitors to the great powers, US forces must be deployed abroad in a more expeditious and expeditious than them. ” have been in recent years. “

“This is the main reason why the United States will reduce its permanently stationed force in Germany from 34,500 troops to 25,000,” he added.

However, Republican lawmakers argue that reducing the number of troops in Germany will really hurt the United States amid emerging competition with Russia and China by damaging relations with key strategic allies.

“With the return of competition for great power, the United States again faces authoritarian regimes in Russia and China that actively seek to sow the divide between the United States and its allies and partners. Our adversaries understand that the American alliance network is the heart of America’s comparative advantage and will seek to exploit any cracks in transatlantic ties, “his letter says.

While defense officials had weighed in on the move of some forces from Germany in the past, several U.S. and NATO officials told CNN earlier this month that the size and timing of the reduction were unexpected.

The committee’s advisers told CNN that the intention of the letter was not to snub Trump, but to involve the administration in the matter before the decision was finalized and the withdrawal plans were finalized.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg appears to confirm that details of the withdrawal have not yet been agreed, and said at an alliance defense ministerial meeting last week “that no final decision has been made on when and how this intention to reduce American troops in Germany will be reduced. ” be implemented. “

Attendees said members of Congress had not been consulted prior to the news of the decision made in the press, a decision that was later confirmed by Trump.

Defense officials and congressional aides tell CNN that more eastern NATO members are particularly concerned about the proposed reduction, and that Germany’s large reductions are unlikely to be offset by additional US troop deployments to countries. like Poland, which lack the infrastructure to house the type of forces being withdrawn from Germany.

Trump plans to meet with the President of Poland this week.