Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “is in the process of conducting a very thorough review” of this decision by the previous administration, said the head of the European Command of the US Armed Forces, Tod Wolters.
The new US administration suspended a decision last year to withdraw a significant portion of US troops from Germany. This was stated on Wednesday at a telephone briefing for journalists by the head of the European Command of the US Armed Forces, Tod Wolters.
According to him, the “previously planned” withdrawal of US troops from Germany, “which was carried out within the framework of previous initiatives, was frozen.” “The new administration calmly informed us of the need to conduct a thorough check from the initial to the final stage” – < … > and after that, we will return to our original positions, – said the general. “And the goal of this is to comprehensively explore all the options, from A to Z, so that a strategic analysis of each of these options can be carried out.”
As Wolters stressed, the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, “is in the process of conducting a very thorough review” of the decision of the previous US administration. “In the end, he will make a decision together with the US President [Joe Biden],” the head of UCOM stressed. He declined to comment on the possible time frame for completing the review of the decision to withdraw troops and added that the Pentagon leadership needs time to do so.
Former US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced on July 29, 2020, the withdrawal of 11.9 thousand troops from Germany. About 6,4 thousand of them will return to their homeland, about 5,6 thousand will be relocated to Italy and Belgium. At the same time, a maximum of 25 thousand American soldiers and officers will remain in Germany. The preparation of such plans was warned in mid-June by the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized Germany for what he believes is not spending enough money to maintain the collective defense of NATO.