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Trump to pull troops out over spat with Germany


US President Donald Trump. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

US President Donald Trump. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

US President Donald Trump. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The United States will today announce plans to withdraw about 12,000 troops from Germany following a decision by President Donald Trump - but will keep nearly half of them in Europe to address tension with Russia, US officials said.

However, they stressed only a relatively small number of advanced units would move any time soon. The rest of the troop movements would take years to fully implement.

"It will still be months to plan and years to execute because it is very complex," one source said, noting potentially billions of dollars in required funding and more planning by the branches of the armed forces.

Mr Trump announced his intention to cut the number of US troops in Germany to 25,000, faulting the close US ally for failing to meet Nato's defence spending target and accusing it of taking advantage of America on trade.


The premiers of four German states which host US troops have appealed to members of the US Congress to block Mr Trump's withdrawal, which current and former US officials have criticised as being politically, not strategically, driven.

Defence Secretary Mark Esper is expected to give further details today, when he is expected to address concerns the move represents a pullback from the Nato alliance.

Mr Esper had already been carrying out a review of US forces globally when Mr Trump's long-running dispute with Germany bubbled over.

"The president's guidance and the president's direction has pushed that process forward and allowed all of the parties to focus on what the president's intent was," a US official said.

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