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US Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Block Troop Pullout From Germany

© AP Photo / CHRISTOF STACHEUS soldiers at the exercise area in Grafenwoehr, Germany
US soldiers at the exercise area in Grafenwoehr, Germany - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US lawmakers have introduced a bill in both chambers of Congress to block the Trump administration from using any federal funds for a troop pullout from Germany, according to the text of the legislation published on Thursday.

US President Donald Trump on Monday confirmed media reports that he wants to pull 9,500 soldiers from Germany to bring down the count to 25,000, after accusing the German government of being delinquent in its defence spending.

The "Maintaining United States National Security Interests in Europe Act’," introduced by Congressman Eliot Engel and Senator Bob Menendez, states that "no Federal funds are authorised to be appropriated or otherwise made available to take any action - (1) to withdraw or otherwise reduce the overall presence, including rotational presence, of members of the Armed Forces or civilian employees of the Department of Defence in Europe; (2) to close or otherwise change the status of any base or other facility of the Armed Forces located in Europe; or (3) to withdraw or otherwise reduce the overall presence of Armed Forces assets in Europe."

According to the bill, the ban will not apply in case a host government transmits to the United States government a written request for such a withdrawal or other reduction.

The bill stressed the United States should continue to maintain and enhance existing bilateral ties with Germany and maintain a robust military presence there "so as to deter further aggression from Russia or aggression from other adversaries against the United States and its allies and partners."

"Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that details the decision-making process used to arrive at the decision to withdraw members of the Armed Forces from Germany that was announced on June 15, 2020", the document said.

A German government spokesman said on Wednesday that Germany is waiting for details of how the US Defence Department plans to implement Trump's plan to cut the number of deployed troops.

At present, 34,500 US troops are stationed in Germany, along with 17,000 US civilians and 12,000 German citizens who work at military bases in that country.

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