President Donald Trump’s plan to pull American troops from Germany will encourage Russian aggression in Europe, according to Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee.
In a June 9 letter, 22 GOP lawmakers warned that removing American troops from Europe would undermine NATO and risk increased Russian aggression in the region.
“We believe that such steps would significantly damage U.S. national security as well as strengthen the position of Russia to our detriment,” the Republican lawmakers wrote.
The letter comes after the president is seeking to lower the number of troops in Germany from 35,000 to 25,000 over the next few months, the Wall Street Journal reported June 5.
“In Europe, the threats posed by Russia have not lessened, and we believe that signs of a weakened U.S. commitment to NATO will encourage further Russian aggression and opportunism,” the letter said.
“In addition, the overall limit on troops would prevent us from conducting the exercises that are necessary for the training and readiness of our forces and those of our allies. The troop limit would also significantly reduce the number of U.S. forces that can flow through Germany for deployment to bases around the world, causing serious logistical challenges.”
— Armed Services (@HASCRepublicans) June 9, 2020
Trump has faced bipartisan criticism throughout his first term over his desire to decrease the number of troops stationed abroad and for his comments criticizing NATO. (RELATED: NATO Remains As Important To American Security As Ever)
While Republicans acknowledged that the alliance should “spread its costs more equitably,” they emphasized the alliance’s importance to U.S. security in the letter.
“We believe that our continued strong involvement in the alliance is fundamental to our nation’s security and integral to protecting our people. Withdrawals and limitations of the kind being reported would make that job more difficult.”
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