Trump directs US troops reduction in Germany

US President Donald Trump directed the Pentagon to reduce American. military presence in Germany by September, the media reported.

Citing US government officials, The Wall Street Journal said in a report on Friday that the move would reduce 9,500 troops from the 34,500 troops that are permanently assigned in Germany, reports Xinhua news agency.

The move also limits the size of US troops deployed in Germany at any one time at the 25,000-troop level.

According to the report, overall troop levels under current practice can rise to as high as 52,000 as units rotate in and out or take part in training exercises.

The report came days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she would not attend the G7 Summit that initially scheduled at the White House later this month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A person familiar with the matter was quoted as saying that the troops’ reduction plan had been discussed within the administration for months and was not linked to Merkel’s decision on G7 Summit.

The reduction plan might further strain the relations between Washington and Berlin.

The two allies have been at odds with each other on Iran nuclear issues, Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, and defence burden-sharing, among others.