After reversing a Trump administration plan to cut the US troop presence in Germany by about 12,000, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced an additional 500 soldiers are being deployed to the European country. There are currently about 35,000 US troops stationed in Germany.
Autin made the announcement from Berlin after talks with his German counterpart. “This planned increase in US personnel underscores our commitment to Germany and the entire NATO alliance,” he said.
Considering the US already has such a significant troop presence in the country, the slight increase is seen as a symbolic gesture from the Biden administration to show its support for Germany. Although, Biden officials are also threatening to sanction Berlin over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would connect Russia to Germany.
Trump’s plan to cut forces in Germany was met with much opposition in Congress and led to an amendment in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that would block funding for the drawdown.
In an attempt to sell the idea to Congress, Trump administration officials framed it as a repositioning of resources to better confront Russia. As part of Trump’s plan, about half of the troops leaving Germany were set to move west towards Russia’s border.