WORLD NEWS | U.S. To Withdraw About 12,000 troops from Germany but nearly half to stay in Europe

WASHINGTON – The U.S. military on Wednesday unveiled plans to withdraw about 12,000 troops from Germany, in fallout from President Donald Trump’s long-simmering feud with Berlin, but said it will keep nearly half of those forces in Europe to address tension with Russia.

Trump announced his intention last month to cut by about a third the 36,000 – strong U.S. troop contingent in Germany, faulting the close U.S. ally for failing to meet NATO’s defense spending target and accusing it of taking advantage of the United States on trade.

‘We don’t want to be the suckers and more’, Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday about the decision. ‘We’re reducing the force because they’re not paying their bills; it’s very simple’.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has not portrayed the pullout in those terms and said the military’s plan would prevent the troop movements from undermining NATO and its efforts to deter Russian intervention, following Moscow’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

In remarks likely to irk Moscow, Esper said some U.S. troops would reposition to the Black Sea region and some could temporarily deploy in waves to the Baltics.

Other forces leaving Germany would permanently move to Italy and the U.S. military’s European headquarters would relocate from Stuttgard, Germany, to Belgium.

In total, just under 6,000 troops of the 12,000 leaving Germany are expected to remain in Europe. Many of the other forces will be based in the United State but will rotate into Europe for temporary deployments without their families.

‘I’m telling you that this is going to accomplish what the president said with regard to getting us down to a lower number in Europe, and it meets his other objectives I outlined with regards to the strategic piece’, Esper said.

U.S. officials stressed that only a relatively small number of advanced units would move anytime soon. The rest of the troop movements would take years to fully implement, in part give the potentially billions of dollars in additional cost.

Still, the moves out of Germany represent a remarkable rebuke to one of the closest U.S. military allies and trading partners.

The premiers of four German states that host U.S. troops have appealed to members of the U.S. Congress to block Trump’s withdrawal, which current and former American officials, as well as German officials, have criticized as politically, not strategically, driven.

‘Instead of strengthening NATO, the troop withdrawal will weaken the alliance’, Norbert Roettgen, a senior member of Chancellor Angel Merkel’s conservatives, told Augesburger Allgemine newspaper.

Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who has been critical of Trump, said the plan to remove troops from Germany was ‘a grave error’.

‘It is a slap in the face at a friend and ally’, Romney said in a statement.

If he is elected president, Democrat Joe Biden will review the Republican incumbent’s decision to withdraw the troops from Germany, a top Biden aide told Reuters earlier this month.


BREAKING NEWS | Trump Says Beirut Explosion Seems To Be ‘Bomb Of Some King’

MILAN | ITALY – President Donald Trump on Tuesday cast a massive explosion that killed dozens of people and wounded thousands in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, as a possible attack and offered U.S. help. ‘The United States ready to assist Lebanon’, Trump said at a White House briefing. ‘We will be there to help. It looks … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Trump Says Beirut Explosion Seems To Be ‘Bomb Of Some King’

BREAKING NEWS | Trump Says U.S. Ready To Assist Lebanon After ‘Terrible Attack’

MILAN | ITALY – President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he sent his sympathies to Lebanon for the dozens of people killed and thousands wounded in a massive explosion in Beirut, which he cast as an attack, and offered U.S. help. ‘The United States stands ready to assist Lebanon’, Trump said at a White House … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Trump Says U.S. Ready To Assist Lebanon After ‘Terrible Attack’

BREAKING NEWS | U.K. PM Johnson Offers Support To Beirut After Massive Blast

LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain stood ready to provide any support it could to help Beirut after a massive explosion in the city’s port area killed 25 people and injured more than 2,500. ‘The pictures and videos from Beirut  tonight are shocking’, Johnson wrote on Twitter. ‘All of my thoughts and prayer … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | U.K. PM Johnson Offers Support To Beirut After Massive Blast

BREAKING NEWS | Massive Blast Rips Through Beirut, Killing 50 And Injuring Thousands

BEIRUT | LEBANON – A huge explosion in port warehouses near central Beirut Killed more than 50 people, injured over 2,750 and sent shockwaves that shattered windows, smashed masonry and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital. Officials expected the death toll to rise further after Tuesday’s blast as emergency workers dug through rubble to … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Massive Blast Rips Through Beirut, Killing 50 And Injuring Thousands

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Following With Great Concern Consequences Of Beirut’s Explosion: SPA

RIYADH  | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that is it following with great concern the consequences of Beirut’s port explosion, according to the state news agency. The statement also affirmed the kingdom’s full support and solidarity with the Lebanese people. The death toll from a massive explosion in Beirut  on … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Following With Great Concern Consequences Of Beirut’s Explosion: SPA

TRAVEL | Jordan Delays Resuming International Flight After COVID-19 Surge Abroad

AMMAN – Jordan on Tuesday postponed a resumption of international flight services that was planned for Wednesday almost five months after they were suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, officials said. Civil Aviation Commission chief Haitham Mistro has announced last month that Queen Alia International Airport outside the capital Amman would reopen on Aug.5 for … Continue reading TRAVEL | Jordan Delays Resuming International Flight After COVID-19 Surge Abroad

SPORT | Red Card For Virus As Saudi Pro League Returns With Riyadh Derby

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – The most popular rivalry in the Saudi Pro League (SPL) will take center stage as Al-Nassr host Al-Hilal on Wednesday, with safety precautions to allow the safe return of football in the Kingdom. The eagerness for football’s return will be highlighted when players arrive fully kitted at King Fahd Stadium, … Continue reading SPORT | Red Card For Virus As Saudi Pro League Returns With Riyadh Derby

ROYALS | Former King Juan Carlos To Leave Spain Amid Corruption Allegations

MADRID – Spain’s former king Juan Carlos has told his son, King Felipe, that he is leaving the country, the Royal House said on Monday, in a dramatic move designed to protect the monarchy after corruption allegations against him surfaced. In June, the Spanish Supreme Court opened an investigation into Juan Carlos’s involvement in a … Continue reading ROYALS | Former King Juan Carlos To Leave Spain Amid Corruption Allegations

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