Trump reveals plans to withdraw troops in Germany in latest blow to Nato ally

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On Monday, Trump accused Germany of being “delinquent” in its payments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato). He then pledged to follow through with his plans to retract troops unless Berlin adjusted its approach.

In 2014, Nato members had agreed on allocating 2 percent of their gross national product on military by 2024.

Germany had expected to hit that goal by 2031.

“Nato is not a trade organisation, and security is not a commodity,” Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer said during a conference at the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Berlin.

“Nato is founded on solidarity, on trust. And it is based on common values and common interests.”

Cutting down about 9,500 troops to 25,000 would be a harsh reprimand to the European country.

Germany is one of the US’ main strategic and trading allies, but the move could cause significant damage to the faith on one of the mainstays of post-World War Two European security: that US forces would protect fellow Nato nations against any Russian threat.

Trump’s claims on Monday were the first official announcement of the US’ intentions to withdraw troops.

The move was first revealed by the Wall street Journal and later confirmed to Reuters by a senior US official who wished to remain anonymous.

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The same official said that the decision was taken from months of work by the US military and that it was not linked to any tensions between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The German Chancellor frustrated Trump’s intentions to hold an in-person Group of Seven (G7) summit.

In a letter to Trump, 22 Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee called the plan ”another favour” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A US official told the Wall Street Journal that the move had been planned since September.

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In their letter, the Republicans wrote that “we strongly believe that Nato allies, such as Germany, should do more to contribute to our joint defence efforts.

“At the same time, 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.”

Four Republican members of the committee – Mo Brooks, Scott DesJarlais, Ralph Abraham and Matt Gaetz – did not sign the letter.

A second source, another senior US official said the 9,500 troops would be appointed somewhere else.

Some of the troops could go to Poland, which is geographically closer to Russia, while some would go to other allied nations and others could return to the US.

On Monday Trump told reporters that the US is “protecting Germany and they’re delinquent, that doesn’t make sense.”

Trump argued that Germany is “delinquent for billions of dollars” and said he was cutting down the US troops to around 25,000 servicemen as reprisal “until they pay”.

Following the president’s announcement, German Ambassador Emily Haber said US troops are in Europe to safeguard transatlantic security and to portray US influence abroad, according to Reuters.

“Our cooperation on military and security matters has always been very close and will remain so,” Ms Haber said during an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, Reuters reported.

“US troops … are not there to defend Germany. They are there to defend the transatlantic security.

“They are also there to project American power in Africa, in Asia,” she added.

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