Bases and Burdens: The Impact of an American Drawdown on NATO, Germany, and the U.S.
President Donald Trump has announced the reduction of the U.S. troop presence in Germany by 12,000, to a level of 24,000. The President has connected his decision in part to his frustration with low defense spending in Germany, a frequent refrain since 2016. The move will entail the relocation of 5,600 troops to other European locations, which the Defense Department argues will strengthen NATO and better deter Russia. The plans have sparked bipartisan criticism from the U.S. Congress, former military officials, and security experts. The German federal government has highlighted the potential impact on American force-projection capabilities in Europe, while state leaders from across the political spectrum in Germany have expressed regret at the Defense Department’s decision.
Presented in partnership with the ZEIT Foundation