President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that thousands of U.S. troops would move from Germany to Poland, thanks to what Trump called Germany’s “delinquency.”
Trump made the announcement alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda during a joint press conference in the White House Rose Garden. Trump thanked Poland for fully meeting its pledge to donate 2% of its annual GDP toward NATO defense efforts, a pledge only seven other countries are currently meeting. U.S. forces in Germany will decrease from 52,000 to roughly 25,000, and Trump said some of those will be moving to Poland.
“We look forward to signing a defense cooperation agreement” with Poland, Trump said. (RELATED: PAY UP: Trump Rolls Into NATO Summit With One Message)
While Duda thanked Trump for sending troops to his country, he also admitted that he had asked Trump not to remove any military forces from Europe. Under Trump’s move, more soldiers will be present in Poland but fewer forces will be present in Europe as a whole.
Polish President Duda: “I do not deny that I requested Mr. President that he would not withdraw US forces from Europe because the security of Europe is very important to me.” https://t.co/wUDXBfgo2F
— Sara Cook (@saraecook) June 24, 2020
Trump decried Germany as “delinquent” for paying “just over one percent” of its GDP toward NATO. Trump has long criticized NATO countries for not contributing the agreed-upon 2% of GDP since gaining office in 2017.
Duda also decried certain actions taken by George Floyd protesters in the U.S., who recently defaced a monument to Polish-born soldiers who fought in the U.S. Revolutionary War.
“I am disgusted and appalled by the acts of vandalism committed against the statue of Thaddeus Kościuszko in D.C., a hero who fought for the independence of both the US and Poland” Polish Ambassador Piotr Wilczek said June 1, before asking the U.S. to “quickly restore the statue to its original state.”