U.S. to station at least 500 additional troops in Germany
UPDATED 12:40 PM PT – Tuesday, April 13, 2021
The United States announced its intention to deploy an additional 500 troops in Germany.
The statement came in a joint press conference on Tuesday, between U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his German counterpart Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
“Today, I briefed the minister on our intention to permanently station approximately 500 additional U.S. personnel in the Wiesbaden area as early as this fall,” Austin stated.
The U.S. commitment to our Alliance with Germany and @NATO remains ironclad. We will increase our troop presence in Germany to further strengthen defense and deterrence against strategic adversaries. #WeAreNATO pic.twitter.com/iJHHVbho11
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) April 13, 2021
The move comes amid rising tensions, as Russia has stationed at least 40,000 troops on Ukraine’s eastern border.
“Now, these forces will strengthen deterrence and defense in Europe,” Austin explained. “And they will augment our existing abilities to prevent conflict and if necessary, to fight and win.”
Austin avoided questions as to whether the deployment should be interpreted as a message to Russia. The German defense minister referred to the move as a strong signal of the healthy relationship between the U.S. and Germany.
Austin also hopes the move will strengthen American defense capabilities in Europe.
“This move will also create more space capabilities, more cyber and more electronic warfare capabilities in Europe,” Austin said. “And it will greatly improve our ability to surge forces at a moment’s notice to defend our allies.”
However, the increase in troops comes in stark contrast to the actions of President Trump, who ordered the withdrawal of 12,000 troops from Germany last year, roughly a third of those stationed there.
The 45th President commented Germany had refused to spend more on its own defense and “they’d been delinquent for years and they owe NATO billions of dollars.”
The U.S. currently has around 35,000 troops stationed in Germany, and Kramp-Karrenbauer said Joe Biden gave his word the troop reduction would not happen.
Continuing his tour, Austin is next set to fly to NATO headquarters in Belgium.