GOP members of the House Armed Services Committee have put together a united front in an attempt to convince President Trump not to carry out his plan to withdraw US troops from Germany.
In a letter to the commander on Tuesday, 22 Republicans, led by Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), urged Trump to reconsider the measure.
“We are very concerned that the administration is currently considering a significant reduction in the number of US-based troops in Europe and the total number of US troops stationed there at any given time,” the letter said.
“We hope that such actions will significantly damage U.S. national security and strengthen Russia’s position to our detriment.”
Earlier this month, President Trump ordered the Pentagon to reduce the number of US troops stationed in Germany by 9,500. Order, First reported by the Wall Street JournalUS troops will not exceed 25,000.
Currently, 34,500 US service members are permanently recruited in Germany as part of a long-standing arrangement with the US-NATO allies.
The decision comes amid escalating tensions between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Tensions have reached a new peak recently when Merkel rejected her invitation to the 2020 G7 meeting to be held this month, citing the coronavirus infection.
A senior executive disputes that Merkel played any part in the decision to pull out the troops, however, she told The Journal that internal discussions had been going on since September, and nothing happened in Merkel’s decision not to attend this year.
This is not the first time Trump has raised some objections to the presence of a large troop in the area.
During a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in July 2018, Trump questioned why the United States is protecting Germany from Russia, as the country is involved in an energy deal with Russia.
“I think it’s really sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you have to guard against Russia. Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump told Stoltenberg at the time. “So we defend Germany, we defend France, we defend all these countries. Then many countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia, where they pay billions of dollars for Russia’s treasures. I think it is very inappropriate. “
“But Germany is completely controlled by Russia because they will get 60 to 70 percent of the energy and new pipelines from Russia,” he continued.
In their letter to the president, House Republicans acknowledged that Germany deserves some scrutiny.
“We firmly believe that NATO allies like Germany should do more to contribute to our joint security efforts. They wrote.
The White House has not yet publicly responded to the letter.