Washington | The United States has decided to remove the 11 900 military out of Germany, to reposition a part in Belgium and Italy, announced on Wednesday the head of the Pentagon, Mark Esper.
Washington also plans to reposition forces in Poland and in the baltic States, if an agreement is reached with these countries on their status, said the minister of Defense during a press conference in Washington.
Mr. Esper said that the objective was strategic, including for purposes of deterrence toward Russia, but a few minutes after the press conference of the head of the Pentagon, Donald Trump has explained that this withdrawal was due to the refusal of Germany to “pay more”.
“We are fed up to be pigeons,” said from the White House the american president to the press. “We are reducing our forces because they do not pay. It is very simple.”
Of the approximately 34 500 military personnel are currently deployed in Germany, some 6400 will be repatriated to the U.s., while the 5600 other will be repositioned in other NATO countries, said Dr. Esper.
About 2,000 soldiers will be split between Italy and Belgium.
The command in the u.s. military in Europe (Eucom), currently based in Stuttgart, will be moving to Mons, Belgium, where the NATO command, which will save the american general who heads traditionally the two commandments of the back-and-forth between the two countries.
The command in the u.s. military for Africa (Africom), which is also located in Stuttgart, could also move, but no decision has yet been made, said the head of the Pentagon.
The 2,500 soldiers from the US Air Force stationed on the base of Mildenhall, in the United Kingdom, and which had to reposition itself in Germany, will remain in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Esper stated that the first moves could take place in “a few weeks”, but Mr. Trump had hinted that the plan could be reviewed. “If they started paying their bills, I would think”.