(AP) — Defense officials say the U.S. will pull 12,000 troops from Germany, bringing 6,400 home and shifting 5,600 to other countries in Europe, including Italy and Belgium. The plan will cost billions of dollars and take years to complete.
It’s been spurred on by President Donald Trump’s demand to withdraw troops from Germany, at least in part because of its failure to spend enough on defense. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the moves promote larger strategic goals to deter Russia, reassure European allies and shift forces farther east.
The plan leaves 24,000 troops in Germany. Germany’s Defense Ministry hasn’t commented, saying the plans need to be discussed internally first.