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More information ‘in the coming weeks’ on proposed Germany troop cuts, Army secretary says

Then-Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has lunch at a dining facility with soldiers from multiple units deployed to Powidz Air Base, Poland, in September 2017. McCarthy said during a July 15, 2020, call with reporters that details of a Pentagon plan to pull nearly 10,000 troops out of Germany will be disclosed in the coming weeks.

U.S. ARMY

By JOHN VANDIVER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 15, 2020

STUTTGART, Germany — Details on a Pentagon plan to cut nearly 10,000 troops from Germany will be disclosed soon, a top U.S. Army official said Wednesday during a call with reporters.

“How it all specifically will roll out, the mechanical details, will come out in the coming weeks,” said Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who was in Poznan, Poland, Wednesday to meet with soldiers based there.

McCarthy declined to say if the military has already identified the units that would be removed from Germany. “I am not going to get out in front of my boss on this one,” he said.

Last month, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said President Donald Trump approved a plan to reduce the number of troops in Germany by one-third. Roughly 20,700 of the 34,500 U.S. troops in Germany belong to the Army.

Trump has said that some of the 9,500 troops to be pulled out of Germany could be relocated to other countries in Europe while the rest would be sent back to the U.S.

Some troops are expected to be sent to Poland, which has long sought a larger American military presence.

The withdrawal would be done in a way to ensure U.S. European Command can still meet its mission, McCarthy said.

The Pentagon said in a statement last month that reducing forces in Germany would “enhance Russian deterrence, strengthen NATO, reassure allies, improve U.S. strategic flexibility and U.S. European Command’s operational flexibility.”

But it didn’t elaborate on how cutting troop numbers would achieve those aims.

McCarthy declined to go into detail Wednesday when he was asked how the troop reduction would strengthen the military’s position in Europe.

Some former military officials and security analysts have said Trump’s plan could lead to security risks if most of the 9,500 troops are sent back to the U.S., and could increase costs for the military.

vandiver.john@stripes.com

Twitter: @john_vandiver

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy poses for his official portrait at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. McCarthy said during a July 15, 2020, call with reporters that details of a Pentagon plan to pull nearly 10,000 troops out of Germany will be disclosed in the coming weeks.
MONICA KING/U.S. ARMY

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