Representative Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the committee, was joined by 21 other Republicans on the committee, urging Trump not to significantly reduce the number of US troops in Germany.
The letter comes after a defense official told CNN last week that the White House had called for a significant reduction in US military personnel in the country. The official said the exact size of the reduction has not been decided, but the 9,500 reduction is the current temporary planning plan. The official order to start troops has not yet been issued, but is expected soon.
There are about 34,000 US troops stationed in Germany.
“We strongly believe that NATO allies, such as Germany, must do more to contribute to our common defense efforts. At the same time, we know that the future deployment of US troops since the end of World War II has helped prevent another.” “World War II and, most importantly, helped make America safer,” the lawmakers wrote.
“In Europe, the threats posed by Russia have not diminished and we believe that the signs of weakening US commitment to NATO will further encourage Russian aggression and opportunism. In addition, the overall limit on troops would prevent us from doing the exercises. which is necessary for the training and readiness of our forces and those of our allies, “they added.
“The limit on troops would also significantly reduce the number of US troops that can pass through Germany for base development around the world, causing serious material and technical challenges,” the letter said.
While defense officials have been weighing the movement of some forces from Germany in the past, several US and NATO officials told CNN last week that the size and timing of the reduction was unexpected.
Republicans have also encouraged Trump to remain committed to NATO, even when he has been influencing the alliance for years, complaining that European countries do not pay enough to support NATO. In particular, Trump has criticized Germany for failing to meet its 2% target for NATO defense spending.
Republican spokesman Wyoming Liz Cheney said in a statement on Tuesday that the withdrawal of US troops from Germany “would be a serious mistake” that would “harm our national security”.
“America’s future presence has never been more important than it is today, as our nation faces the threats to freedom and security around the world posed by Russia and Vladimir Putin’s Chinese Communist Party. Our presence “Abroad, it’s crucial to prevent these opponents from strengthening alliances, maintaining peace through force and maintaining American leadership.”
“The withdrawal of our forces and the abandonment of our allies would have serious consequences, encouraging our opponents and increasing war – no less – most likely,” Cheney added.
The U.S. military has deployed troops to Germany since the end of World War II, and its presence on the front lines of the Cold War has helped prevent the Soviet Union from attacking NATO members.
While the number of US troops in Germany has declined in recent years, US bases in the country are still being used by the military because of their strategic location and the presence of US defense infrastructure, such as air bases and medical facilities.