Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Peter Beyer speaks during an interview with Reuters in Berlin, on Nov. 2, 2018.

FABRIZIO BENSCH/Reuters

U.S. plans to withdraw troops from Germany “shake the pillars of the transatlantic relationship”, Peter Beyer, the German co-ordinator for transatlantic ties, told Reuters on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered the U.S. military to remove 9,500 troops from Germany, a senior U.S. official said on Friday. The move would reduce the U.S. contingent to 25,000. But Germany said it has not received confirmation.

“I don’t want to speculate on something for which I have no confirmation,” Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told a news conference on Monday.

Story continues below advertisement

“The fact is, the presence of U.S. troops in Germany serves the entire security of the NATO alliance – so American security too. That is the basis on which we work together.”

Sources in Germany’s governing coalition said Berlin had not received a reply from the U.S. government despite inquiries through various diplomatic channels as to whether the reports were accurate. “This indicates a controversial discussion within the U.S. government,” one government source said.

Despite misgivings about nuclear weapons that the United States is believed to have stationed at a base in Buechel in western Germany, Germans have generally welcomed U.S. troops since World War Two.

The reported U.S. decision, even if not yet confirmed, has shocked policy-makers in Berlin.

Beyer told Reuters: “We’re not yet at divorce. But we’re already at a much lower level of cohabitation than before. It’s saddening because what’s happened is not in the German, European or American interest.”

“We are in a systemic competition with China. But the West is weakening itself,” he said, adding that Chancellor Angela Merkel had not rejected Trump’s invitation to a – now postponed – June G7 summit but rather not yet accepted it due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

The troop move is the latest twist in relations between Berlin and Washington that have often been strained during Trump’s presidency. Trump has pressed Germany to raise defence spending and accused Berlin of being a “captive” of Russia due to its partial? reliance on Russian energy.

Story continues below advertisement

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, Vice President at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, which promotes U.S.-European ties, said the decision “does smack a bit like revenge”.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies