US President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he is planning to reduce a little more than half of the U.S. troops now deployed in Germany.

Iran Press/America: Claiming Germany is not paying enough toward the NATO military alliance, Trump said the total deployment of American troops in Germany would drop to 25,000. The president estimated around 52,000 military personnel are stationed in Germany, but that number may include Defense Department civilian employees, reported by USA Today.

"Germany's delinquent, they've been delinquent for years," Trump told reporters at the White House. “They owe NATO billions of dollars and they have to pay it.”

Under NATO rules, countries have committed to spend at least 2 percent of their annual defense budgets on the alliance. Germany has not yet reached that goal. The country did spend 1.36 percent of its gross domestic product on the NATO alliance in 2019, though, because of its size, the country spends more on its military than its European neighbors.

Neither Germany nor any other NATO country owes money to the United States for maintenance of the alliance. 

Trump confirmed the drawdown plan, first reported by the Wall Street Journal last week, but so far has not issued a written order. The president has frequently raised the idea of reducing the U.S. military commitment throughout the world, including in Germany as well as South Korea. He has spoken publicly of withdrawing all U.S. troops from Syria, but some still remain there.

Throughout his presidency, Trump has often been at odds with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with NATO and the American troop commitment at the top of the list of their disagreements. Last month, Merkel turned down Trump's invitation to attend the Group of 7 meeting he plans to host in Washington this month, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 


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