NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that American forces in Europe did both sides of the Atlantic more secure after President Donald trump has confirmed plans to reduce troops stationed in Germany.
Defence Ministers of NATO countries will discuss plans for the trump reduction of troops based in Germany, one-third – to 25,000 during the video on Wednesday and Thursday, AFP reports.
This step was criticized as a weakening of America’s commitment to European defence, as well as its ability to exert influence in the middle East and Africa.
Stoltenberg said he discussed this issue on the phone with trump on Monday last week – a few days after this became known to the American media. “I said that the US presence is good for Europe but also good for North America and the USA,” he told reporters.
“The US presence in Europe is not only to protect Europe but to protect the US government from outside Europe”.
It seems that the plans took Berlin by surprise, and they have caused concern among high-ranking German politicians. American troops were stationed in Germany since the end of world war II, reaching a peak during the cold war. But the revival of military ambitions of Russia under President Vladimir Putin has given the US presence to a new value.
Trump said that it reduces the number of troops to punish the so-called “late” Germany because she has not spent enough money on their own defense, instead of downloading USA.
Trump has repeatedly complained that European NATO members do not fulfill their obligation to spend at least two percent of GDP on defense by 2024.
Although the US presence in Germany is based on the agreement between the two countries, Stoltenberg said that this “has implications for the entire Alliance.”
But he stressed that details of the plan have not been completed.
“The United States and the President announced that announced but not yet solved, as and when, and this decision will be implemented,” he said.
Expressing concern about plans for trump, some NATO diplomats noted that in the past the President made similar statements about withdrawing troops in other parts of the world, only to the end result was somewhat less dramatic.
They also indicate that the rearrangement of a large number of troops is expensive and complicated from the point of view of logistics, and those are the factors that can affect the final decision.