This equates to a reduction of about 9,500 troops.
Speaking to reporters, Trump accused Germany of being “delinquent” in its payments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and vowed to stick with the plan unless Berlin changed course.
“So we’re protecting Germany and they’re delinquent. That doesn’t make sense. So I said, we’re going to bring down the count to 25,000 soldiers,” Trump said, adding that “they treat us very badly on trade.”
NATO in 2014 set a target that each of its 30 members should spend 2 percent of GDP on defense. Most, including Germany, do not.
Asked about Trump’s statement, German Ambassador to the United States Emily Haber said U.S. troops were in Europe to defend transatlantic security and to help the United States project its power in Africa and Asia.
“This is about transatlantic security but also about American security,” she told a virtual think tank audience, saying U.S.-German security cooperation would remain strong and that her government had been informed of the decision.
By Jeff Mason and Arshad Mohammed