U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that the number of U.S. troops deployed in Germany would be reduced to 25,000 due to Germany’s insufficient defense spending.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump confirmed the number of U.S. soldiers in Germany would reduce to 25,000.
“Germany as you know is very delinquent in their payments to NATO,” Trump told reporters at the White House, adding that U.S. troops would redeploy to Germany until it pays.
Currently, there are about 35,000 U.S. troops deployed in Germany.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell told German media outlet Bild Live last week that “American taxpayers no longer feel like paying too much for the defense of other countries.”
“There will still be 25,000 soldiers in Germany, that’s no small number,” added the Trump loyalist.
U.S. media reported early this month that Trump had directed the Pentagon to reduce U.S. military presence in Germany by September, which drew oppositions among U.S. lawmakers.
Last week 22 Republican members of Congress warned Trump that a significant force drawdown in Europe would serve Russia’s interests at the expense of U.S. national security.
The reduction might further strain the relations between Washington and Berlin.
The two allies have been at odds with each other on Iran nuclear issues, Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, and defense burden-sharing, among others.
Trump has been repeatedly complaining that U.S. allies exploited his country on defense spending. In his remarks to graduates of the United States Military Academy over the weekend, Trump emphasized the U.S. military is not the policemen of the world.