While the House and Senate are still negotiating the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Pentagon spending bill, one House Democrat is optimistic that an amendment will be included to block a US withdrawal from Germany.
President Trump’s plan to bring down US troop numbers in Germany from 36,000 to around 24,000 has met much resistance from Congress. The House included an amendment in its version of the NDAA that would block funding for the withdrawal.
“I believe we can win this in conference committee,” Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who sponsored the amendment, told reporters. “It’s still gonna require a lot more work and effort, which is why we’re having this press conference here. But it certainly has its momentum, and I can’t imagine I’m the only person hearing from our European allies about this.”
President Trump announced the withdrawal in June. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper presented an outline for the drawdown that would withdraw about 11,900 troops from Germany. As per Esper’s plan, about 5,600 of them would be redeployed in Europe, and the remaining 6,400 would go home to the US.
Esper has said the troops being redeployed in Europe would be going east, closer to Russia’s border. At least 1,000 of the troops are expected to be deployed to Poland, where the US recently agreed to establish a permanent military presence. But Congress maintains the line that the drawdown will benefit Moscow.