Envoy Mac Thornberry, the top Republican in the rostrum, was joined by 21 other Republicans on the board in a call by Trump not to significantly reduce U.S. forces in Germany.
The letter came after a defense official told CNN last week that the White House had requested a significant reduction in U.S. military personnel stationed in the country. The official said no decision has been made on the exact size of the reduction, but the 9,500 reduction is the current framework planning plan. A formal order to begin relocating troops has yet to be given, but is expected soon.
About 34,000 U.S. troops are currently stationed in Germany.
“We firmly believe that NATO allies, like Germany, should do more to contribute to our joint defense efforts. At the same time, we also know that directing US troops since the end of World War II has helped prevent another World War and, most importantly, it helped make America safer, ”the legislators wrote.
“In Europe, the threats posed by Russia have not diminished and we believe that signs of a weakened US commitment to NATO will encourage further Russian aggression and opportunism. In addition, the overall troop limitation would prevent us from conducting the exercises necessary for training and readiness of our forces and the forces of our allies, ”they added.
“The troop border would also significantly reduce the number of U.S. forces that can pass through Germany for deployment to bases around the world, causing serious logistical challenges,” the letter said.
While in the past defense officials have tended to relocate some forces from Germany, several U.S. and NATO officials told CNN last week that the size and timing of the cuts were unexpected.
Republicans have also encouraged Trump to remain committed to NATO even though he has shelled the alliance for years, lamenting that European countries are not paying enough to support NATO. In particular, Trump was critical of Germany for failing to meet NATO’s 2% defense target.
Wyoming Republican Republic Liz Cheney said Tuesday that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany “would be a serious mistake” that “could harm our national security.”
“America’s forward presence has never been more important than it is today, as our nation faces threats to freedom and security around the world posed by Russia and Vladimir Putin’s Putin Communist Party. Our presence abroad is crucial to deter these opponents, strengthen alliance, maintaining peace through strength and preserving American leadership, ”she said.
“Taking away our forces and leaving the allies would have dire consequences, would strengthen our opponents and make war more – not less“ likely, ”Cheney added.
The U.S. military has stationed forces in Germany since the end of World War II, and their presence on the front lines of the Cold War helped deter the Soviet Union from attacking NATO members.
While the number of U.S. troops in Germany has been declining in recent years, U.S. military bases in the country continue to be used because of its strategic position and the presence of U.S. defense infrastructure, such as air bases and medical facilities.