SecDef to Give Trump Options on Germany Troop Cuts

Pentagon statement suggests decision hasn't been made

According to the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will meet with President Trump Monday and offer him a series of options on US troop cuts in Germany, saying the various options would include rotating troops back to US or elsewhere in Europe.

The US was initially reported to be planning to cut 9,500 troops from Germany, capping the level at 25,000 thereafter. Germany denied being told about that, and US commanders denied being ordered to do that either. A few weeks later, the US reported a very similar cut again, as though it was a brand new thing.

The Pentagon’s statement suggests that despite all of this, the Trump Administration might not have actually made a decision at all, and just announced it a couple of times to see the reaction. Trump has been outspoken in his criticisms of Germany, and unsurprisingly emphasized those in the context of the troop cuts.

Since both announcements were near identical, the expectation is most US troops will return to the US, and a small number may be shifted to Poland. Trump is on good terms with the Polish government, and has said some troops will likely go there.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of