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 Pardons Ex – Aide Bannon But Not Himself Or Family

U.S. President Donald Trump granted clemency to former White House aide Steve Bannon as part of a wave of pardons and commutations issued in his final hours in office, but did not pardon himself, members of his family or lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Trump leaves office on Wednesday, when Joe Biden is sworn in as the … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Trump Pardons Ex – Aide Bannon But Not Himself Or Family

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From French President Macron

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has received a phone call from French President Emmanuel Macron in which they discussed bilateral relations. ‘During the call, they reviewed relations between the two countries and opportunities for joint cooperation. Regional and international developments were discussed, and a number of issues of common interest … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From French President Macron

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi To Reopen Qatar Embassy In Coming Days – Saudi Minister

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia expects to re-open its embassy in Qatar in the coming days, Saudi’s foreign minister said on Saturday, following a U.S.-backed détente last week in a three – year-old dispute between Arab states. It is just a matter a logistics, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan told journalists in Riyadh … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi To Reopen Qatar Embassy In Coming Days – Saudi Minister

SPORTS | Formula One Season Set To Start In Bahrain After Australian Grand Prix Postponement

MILAN – – The start of the Formula One season has been delayed after the Australian Grand Prix was postponed from March to November because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Australian race in Melbourne has been rescheduled from March 21 to November 21. The Chinese GP has also been delayed but no new date has been … Continue reading SPORTS | Formula One Season Set To Start In Bahrain After Australian Grand Prix Postponement

BREAKING NEWS | Investments In Saudi Arabia’s Economy Will Reach Six Trillion Dollars: Crown Prince

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TRAVEL | Saudi Arabia Warns Citizens Against Travel To 12 Countries Without Approval Over Virus Fears

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia warned on Wednesday its citizens against travel without prior approval to 12 countries where the coronavirus pandemic is still not under control.The Interior Ministry said the countries were Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Somalia, Armenia, Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Belarus.It added that the same permission applies to other countries … Continue reading TRAVEL | Saudi Arabia Warns Citizens Against Travel To 12 Countries Without Approval Over Virus Fears

ROYALS | Oman Sultan’s Eldest Son Dhi Yazan To Succeed Him, Becoming First Crown Prince

RIYADH – – Oman’s Sultan Haitham will be succeeded by his eldest son Dhi Yazan, according to a new basic law published on Tuesday that creates a new position of crown prince and established succession from ruler to the eldest son. Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said has announced plans for the constitutional change on Monday, … Continue reading ROYALS | Oman Sultan’s Eldest Son Dhi Yazan To Succeed Him, Becoming First Crown Prince

SOCIAL MEDIA | YouTube Suspends Trump’s Channel After Violating Policy On Inciting Violence

Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube said on Tuesday it has suspended Donald Trump’s channel as it violated policies for inciting violence after last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by the president’s supporters. Online platforms and social media companies are distancing themselves from, and taking action against, those that encouraged or engaged in the violence in Washington, … Continue reading SOCIAL MEDIA | YouTube Suspends Trump’s Channel After Violating Policy On Inciting Violence

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Congratulates Romanian PM, On Winning President, Parliament Confidence

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BREAKING NEWS | Saudi King Congratulates Romanian PM, on Winning President, Parliament Confidence

RIYADH — The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud sent a cable of congratulations to the Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu, on obtaining the confidence of His Excellency Romanian President as well as the parliament for the office of the Prime Minister. In his cable, the King expressed sincere … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi King Congratulates Romanian PM, on Winning President, Parliament Confidence

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