Pentagon details troop withdraw from Germany

The Pentagon is moving forward with its plan to remove a significant number American troops from Germany, and has now unveiled details to keep half of them in Europe as a deterrent against Russia.

Around 12,000 of the 36,000 soldiers in Germany will begin moving out.

Some are heading to the Black Sea region and others in waves to the Baltics. Italy will see a troop boost as well, and the U.S. is also moving its European headquarters from Germany to Belgium.

Back in June President Donald Trump announced his intention to cut the number of U.S. troops in Germany, for reasons he said include America being taken advantage of on trade.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday (July 29):

"These changes will achieve the core principles of enhancing U.S. and NATO deterrence of Russia, strengthening NATO, reassuring allies and improving U.S. strategic flexibility and UCOM operational flexibility."

German leaders have appealed to congress to block Trump's withdrawal, while current and former U.S. officials have also criticized the policy as politically, and not strategically driven.

It’s expected moving the majority of the troop will take years, with U.S. officials speaking anonymously saying only a few advanced units would move anytime soon.

Noting as well the whole operation would need potentially billions of dollars in funding.

Video Transcript

- The pentagon is moving forward with its plan to remove a significant number of American troops from Germany and has now unveiled details to keep half of them in Europe as a deterrent against Russia. Around 12,000 of the 36,000 soldiers in Germany will begin moving out. Some are heading to the Black Sea region and others in waves to the Baltics. Italy will see a troop boost as well. And the US is also moving its European headquarters from Germany to Belgium.

Back in June, President Donald Trump announced his intention to cut the number of US troops in Germany for reasons he said include America being taken advantage of on trade. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday.

MARK ESPER: These changes will achieve the core principles of enhancing US and NATO deterrence to Russia, strengthening NATO, reassuring allies and improving US strategic flexibility and UCOMM operational flexibility.

- German leaders have appealed to Congress to block Trump's withdrawal, while current and former US officials have also criticized the policy being motivated and not strategically-driven. It's expected he's moving the majority of troops will take years, with US officials speaking anonymously saying only a few advanced units would move anytime soon, noting as well the whole operation would need potentially billions of dollars in funding.