In response to the instruction of U.S. President Donald Trump to reduce U.S. troops in Germany, the ruling Republican Party members raised opposition. It has been reported that the Department of Defense is yet to receive the reduction order from the president and other high-ranking officials were unaware of the president’s decision.
Twenty-two Republican members of the House Committee on Armed Services expressed their opposition to the reduction of U.S. troops in Germany on Tuesday, CNN and The Wall Street Journal reported on the same day. “We believe that such steps would significantly damage U.S. national security as well as strengthen the position of Russia to our detriment,” the Republicans wrote in a letter addressed to President Trump, calling for the president to reconsider his decision. “We also know that the forward stationing of American troops since the end of World War II has helped to prevent another world war and, most importantly, has helped make America safer.”
“When the U.S. withdraws its troops, freedom will be threatened,” said Liz Cheney, a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, on Tuesday. “Our presence abroad is critical to deterring these adversaries, bolstering alliances, maintaining peace through strength, and preserving American leadership.” Republican Senator and the head of the committee James Inhofe also said that it is a “bad idea” in a recent interview with Politico while the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, criticized saying that the reduction of U.S. troops may undermine the security system of Europe.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Tuesday citing multiple sources that the Department of Defense has not received an order to reduce its troops in Germany and that relevant personnel at the White House and the State and Defense Departments were unaware of such a plan and found out through news coverage.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell is known to have had a great impact on the president's decision, which Grenell denied saying that it is “all gossip.” He added that the reduction had been “in the works since last year.” He implied that the reduction of U.S. troops in Germany is related to the issue of increasing Germany’s defense cost share by saying that Germany has failed to meet a NATO target of defense spending of 2% of GDP.
Tensions between President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have also affected the U.S. decision. A congressional aide said he was told that the decision was “sped up because he (Trump) was mad at Merkel for canceling his G7 party because of COVID,” Reuters reported.