In Huge Shakeup, Trump Moves To Withdraw 12,000 US Troops From Germany

Earlier this summer President Trump directed the Pentagon to withdraw some ten thousand US troops from Germany by September, following years of the administration severely criticizing lack of enough military spending from its European ally. This inevitably set up a fight and push back from both hawks and Congress and some among the defense establishment.

It also came out of 'America First' related promises made going back to the campaign trail wherein the president vowed to stop being the world's global policeman and to ultimately "bring to troops home" from far flung stations. Cited as still angry that Germany is "taking advantage" and "not paying their NATO fees" Trump has moved to withdraw about 12,000 troops from Germany, Bloomberg reports.

Trump at Ramstein Air Base, Germany in Dec. 2018, via AP.

Though the Pentagon has cautioned the drawdown process could take "years", Bloomberg now reports: "The U.S. plans to withdraw about 12,000 troops from Germany, with some redeploying to other European nations and a little more than half returning to the U.S., a defense official said."

The AP is describing it has a significant "shakeup" sought by Trump, and notes that an estimated 6,400 will be sent back home - or rather bases on US soil - while 5,400 will be restationed to other countries. 

Trump is making good on prior threats meant to pressure Germany to pay more for NATO as a condition for keeping a large American military troop presence.

But it will be interesting to see how far it goes in practical terms, given that Germany is a major training hub for US forces across Europe and beyond - all of which is rumored to be on the chopping block as part of the pressure campaign on the NATO ally. Even US Africa Command is headquartered in Germany.