08:37 GMT25 February 2021
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    The US president has announced a move to pull out almost 10,000 American troops from Germany, citing the country's unwillingness to meet the voluntary target of spending 2% of GDP on defence that NATO members had previously agreed to.

    The prime ministers of four German states - Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, and Rhineland-Palatinate - that host the majority of the 34,500 American troops in the country have drafted a joint letter to US members of Congress, urging them to prevent the partial withdrawal announced by President Donald Trump. The state heads, who do not only come from the governing CDU/CSU and Social Democrats, but also from the Green Party, argued that the American military presence is essential for maintaining security in the region and the transatlantic partnership between the US and Germany.

    The letter was sent to US members of Congress on both sides of the aisle sitting on security committees or who have opposed President Trump's decision. The authors hope that the letter might reinforce the position of lawmakers fighting to maintain the current number of US troops deployed in the country, which reportedly costs Berlin at least 100 million euros ($114 million) per year.

    Ramstein Air Base, Germany recieving US ammo shipment
    Ramstein Air Base, Germany recieving US ammo shipment

    The German state heads' appeal comes in the wake of POTUS announcing in June 2020 that the number of American servicemen deployed in Germany would be reduced to 25,000 due to the country not meeting the voluntary goal of spending at least 2% of its GDP on defence. The goal was originally established by NATO countries as non-mandatory, but Trump has pressured members of the alliance to actually meet the target, which was previously only met by the US.

    Commenting on the planned withdrawal of troops, Trump later suggested that they will "probably" be redeployed to Poland or "other places in Europe". Warsaw has long lobbied for Washington to send additional troops to the country, citing the alleged threat of "Russian aggression" and offering to pay for the construction of a new military base to be named after the American president.

    Related:

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    Botched Parachuting Exercise in Germany Sees US Troops Land in Trees, Several Hospitalized
    US Nuclear Weapons Should Be Out of Germany Along With Its Troops, German Lawmaker Says
    US Troops Reportedly Cost Germany Over $1Bln Over 10 Years
    Berlin ‘Regrets’ US Decision to Withdraw Troops From Germany, Defence Minister Says
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    military deployment, US troops, Germany, US
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