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U.S. lawmakers hammer Pentagon over lack of detail on Germany troop cuts

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U.S. lawmakers hammer Pentagon over lack of detail on Germany troop cuts

By Idrees Ali

 

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FILE PHOTO: Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Adam Smith speaks during the House Armed Services Committee hearing on 'Department of Defense Authorities and Roles Related to Civilian Law Enforcement' in Washington, DC, U.S. July 9, 2020. Michael Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, expressed frustration with the Pentagon at a hearing on Wednesday over the lack of details surrounding President Donald Trump's plans to withdraw thousands of troops from Germany.

 

In July, the Pentagon announced that it would withdraw about 12,000 of 36,000 troops from Germany, in fallout from Trump’s long-simmering feud with Berlin over military spending, but said it will keep nearly half of those forces in Europe to address tension with Russia.

 

Two senior Pentagon officials appeared before a House Armed Services Committee hearing, where lawmakers pressed them about the cost of the troop withdrawal, how long it would take and how much the administration had coordinated with European allies before making the decision.

 

They got few answers during the sometimes contentious 2-1/2 hour hearing.

 

"What the hell is going on, so we can exercise our oversight?," said Democratic Representative Adam Smith, the committee chair.

 

James Anderson, the acting undersecretary of defense for policy at the Pentagon, said the military did not yet have details and would share plans as they are developed.

 

Anderson, when asked whether U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper had provided Trump the plan to draw down troops or if the president had made a decision and then directed the Pentagon to do it, said he was not privy to those conversations.

 

"Then why are you here?" Democratic Representative Bill Keating said.

 

The top Republican on the committee, Representative Mac Thornberry, said it appeared that the troop reduction was a result of White House officials - not the Pentagon - trying to get the president to agree on a troop cap in Germany.

 

Trump has faulted Germany, a close U.S. ally, for failing to meet NATO’s defense spending target and accused it of taking advantage of the United States on trade.

 

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Mary Milliken and Cynthia Osterman)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-10-01
 
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33 minutes ago, Tug said:

Perhaps the pentagon is stonewalling hoping for a change in administrations therefore not having to move the personnel because Angela hurt Donalds feelings 

She hurt his pocket. Big difference. He has the skin of a Rhino but she ain't ponying up her 2%

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7 hours ago, webfact said:

Trump has faulted Germany, a close U.S. ally, for failing to meet NATO’s defense spending target and accused it of taking advantage of the United States on trade.

All true. So what's the beef?

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50 minutes ago, AgMech Cowboy said:

All true. So what's the beef?

 

Read the OP. Or even the headline.

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4 hours ago, Tug said:

It’s not (his) pocket Donald John trump is a narssisit he is mentally ill he has a very thin skin indeed he wouldent hesitate for a heart beat to ruin your life if you hurt his feelings I don’t think you have been paying attention 

:thumbsup: 100% True!

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Those troops in Germany cost the USA taxpayer millions of dollars. Why not let Poland have some of that money?  Good idea that, send the soldiers closer to Russia. 

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10 minutes ago, IAMHERE said:

Those troops in Germany cost the USA taxpayer millions of dollars. Why not let Poland have some of that money?  Good idea that, send the soldiers closer to Russia. 

 

Unless mistaken, that's the sort of information which was sought - and the gist of the OP being that no information of value was provided. Given that's more a political decision than a military one, not very surprising. All the more so when it comes to Trump's administration.

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33 minutes ago, DrTuner said:

Just go, EU needs their own defense force, they'll never build it if yanks are hanging about.

Exactly. If the Americans were to bring home their military worldwide maybe they could better look after their own people.  Obviously munition corporation lobbyists stand in the way of that. 

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Trump is sending them to train in Russia 

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