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Defense Secretary Esper to brief the president on options for troops in Germany

POTUS aims to reduce the number of U.S. troops stationed in Germany from upwards of 50,000 to about 25,000

Updated: June 29, 2020 - 6:02pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is set Monday brief President Trump on options to reduce the number of U.S. troops stationed in Germany by nearly 10,000. 

The meeting follows one last week between Trump and Esper in which they discussed U.S. military presence in Europe. 

The proposal from the Pentagon reportedly outlines several scenarios to return some of the troops to the U.S. and shift others around Europe. 

Some at the Pentagon fear that Trump's directive to reduce U.S. military presence in Germany by 9,500 will encourage aggressive regional forces in the area, including Russia.

The expected reduction in Germany comes amid the president's repeated frustration with the country's level of defense spending, specifically that it continually fails to meet the NATO target of spending 2% of its GDP on defense – a number Germany aims to meet by 2031. 

During a White House visit last week by Polish President Andrzej Duda, Trump offered some insight into where the U.S. troops might be relocated, saying that some may move from Germany into Poland. 

Germany is a center for U.S. military training in Europe, serving as the headquarters for three U.S. Air Force and Army forces in Europe, in addition to being the home of the U.S. Africa Command.