Biden’s Defense Secretary Puts The Brakes On Trump’s Germany Troop Draw Down

Biden’s Defense Secretary Puts The Brakes On Trump’s Germany Troop Draw Down

Perhaps as expected, it didn’t take long for the Biden administration to begin putting the brakes on Trump’s previously ordered troop draw downs which occurred in the last two months of his presidency, particularly in Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

The defense analysis and news site Military.com is reporting that new defense secretary under the Biden administration Lloyd Austin is reviewing the withdrawal of 12,000 US troops from Germany:

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has voiced his commitment to shoring up close ties with NATO ally Germany that were strained under the Trump administration, and suggested that the plan to withdraw 12,000 U.S. troops from the country is open to discussion.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, via AP

The prior Trump plan for to cut nearly one-third of total American military personnel from the country was predictably fought from Congressional corners known for being hawkish on Russia, with even some American and European security officials having called the move a “gift to Putin”.

Later in December the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act attempted to override the draw down order, and according to German officials early this year there’s yet to be significant movement of troops from the country.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin this week held phone calls with NATO allied officials in Europe. The Military.com report continues:

In a phone call to his German counterpart, Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Austin “expressed his gratitude to Germany for continuing to serve as a great host for U.S. forces, and expressed his desire for a continued dialogue on U.S. force posture in Germany,” according to a Pentagon readout of the call released Wednesday.

He also sought “to reinforce the value the United States places on the bilateral defense relationship with one of our closest NATO Allies,” the readout from Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby states.

By all appearances the some 36,000 total American troops in Germany have gone nowhere despite the plan initiated under Esper. 

Recent polling of the German public also suggests half or more want to see US troops gone, after being there since World War II.

As the report concludes of Defense Secretary Austin’s phone call, it is “the latest sign of the Biden administration’s intent to reverse or water down the policies of former President Donald Trump, who repeatedly questioned NATO’s worth to the U.S. and rattled allies with demands for more defense spending.”

Tyler Durden
Fri, 01/29/2021 – 19:40

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