According to the US "Stars and Stripes" news, US Secretary of Defense Esper said that as part of the plan to reduce US troops in Germany, the US may increase its military presence in Romania and the Baltic countries. He said in a virtual meeting held at the Aspen Institute this week, “We hope to deploy more rotating troops in the Black Sea region, especially Romania.” In addition, the Pentagon also hopes to send more to the Baltic States and Poland. Of the army.
In recent years, the U.S. military has invested a lot of money in Romania to support the expansion of troop rotations at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Force Base and Campia Turzii Air Force Base. Esper said that when the Pentagon prepared to relocate the Second Cavalry Regiment from Wiersek, Germany to the United States, their idea was to relocate the force and other units to Europe. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment is the only brigade-level ground force deployed in Germany. It has about 4,500 soldiers. This is the unit most affected by Esper’s plan to reduce the number of US troops in Germany by 12,000.
The US Secretary of Defense stated that the ultimate goal is to rotate a brigade-level force in Europe to compensate for the withdrawal of the Second Cavalry. He said that there may be a Stryker unit rotating back to Europe, but it may also be a tank brigade. If the Pentagon continues its current strategy of rotating an armored brigade stationed in the United States to Europe every nine months, the U.S. Army will eventually have to conduct two brigade-scale rotations. Pentagon officials also said that withdrawing troops from Germany would also cost a lot of money.
US President Trump has repeatedly called for the reduction of the US military presence in Germany, saying that Germany owes NATO "funds". Esper said that the withdrawal from Germany was to increase the "strategic flexibility" of the US military, while Trump said it was to punish Germany for insufficient military spending. A few hours after the announcement of the withdrawal plan, Trump said in an interview with Fox News, “Germany must pay. Germany is a wealthy country, and they must pay funds, about 12 billion U.S. dollars, or 10 billion euros, otherwise we will not There will be 52,000 soldiers stationed in Germany. They rely on these troops to make money. You know, they built cities around our army." The United States has 36,000 soldiers stationed in Germany, plus 16,000 civilian personnel, the total is up to 52,000 people. U.S. officials said that these American citizens contribute about $3 billion to the German economy every year.
According to German government data, Berlin has paid $1 billion in support of the US military presence in Germany in the past 10 years. In addition, the US withdrawal plan may lead to the closure of German bases. But for other bases, it may have the opposite effect. For example, the Royal Air Force Mildenhall Air Force Base, after the 100th Air Refueling Wing and the 352th Special Operations Wing of the United States have been stationed in Germany for a long time, the base was originally planned to be closed, but Esper said it would retain 2500 aviation personnel. After the base has "obvious strategic significance," the base now seems to have a respite. The German media believes that this is the extortion of the United States. The article believes that Germany is not a "semi-colonial US" or a "national defense state" and that Germany has to go its own way.