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US mulls withdrawing troops from Germany

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The United States is reportedly examining options for a large-scale withdrawal or transportation of its forces stationed in Germany.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that the US Department of Defense was analyzing the cost and consequences of shifting either some or all 35,000 US troops to the US or Poland.

Citing anonymous sources, the paper said President Donald Trump had showed interest in shifting US forces during a White House meeting earlier in the year after he had voiced shock at the number of American troops in Germany and complained that other countries had not been contributing fairly to joint security or paying enough to NATO.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon, however, dismissed any suggestion of a full or partial withdrawal from Germany and described such analysis of the US troop deployments as routine.

“The Pentagon regularly reviews force posture and performs cost-benefit analyses,” he said in a statement. “This is nothing new. Germany is host to the largest U.S. force presence in Europe — we remain deeply rooted in the common values and strong relationships between our countries. We remain fully committed to our NATO ally and the NATO alliance.”

Despite repeated denials of a rift between Washington and NATO countries, the US president has suggested withdrawing from the 29-member alliance on multiple occasions.

In a summit statement released earlier on Friday, European Union leaders said the bloc must strengthen its defenses and be able to act independently of the United States, pledging to push ahead with a new military cooperation pact.

“Europe must take greater responsibility for its own security and underpin its role as a credible and reliable actor and partner in the area of security and defense,” the summit statement said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that the military alliance could be under threat if the US and its European allies fail to settle their disputes.

Trump insists that Washington is shouldering too much of the alliance’s financial burden as the members have failed to spend the NATO target of 2 percent of their GDP on defense.

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