SOLDATEN USA IN DEUTSCHLAND

Die vereinigte staaten von amerika wollen fast 12.000 ihr Soldaten das ende Deutschland abziehen, von denen 5.600 an andere Standorte in Europa verlegt bekomme und 6.400 in die vereinigte staaten von amerika zurückkehren sollen. Bedeutsamste Veränderung von seit wöchentlich angekündigten Abzugs ist ns Verlegung ns U.S. European Command ende Stuttgart nach Belgien. Ns Pentagon bemühte sich bei der Vorstellung das Pläne, die Veränderungen wie Stärkung ns NATO und der US-Einsatzbereitschaft darzustellen und nicht wie zuvor US-Präsident donald Trump über einer bestrafen Deutschlands zu sprechen.

Du schaust: Soldaten usa in deutschland


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Verteidigungsminister unterschrift Esper, das stellvertretende Vorsitzende ns Joint Chiefs des Staff, Luftwaffengeneral john Hyten, und Luftwaffengeneral tod Wolters, Befehlshaber ns U.S. European Command und militärischer NATO-Oberbefehlshaber, erläuterten das Konzept in Mittwoch in einer Pressekonferenz in Washington. Das Ziel ein umfassenden Truppenreduzierung in Deutschland von bisher fast 36.000 in etwa 24.000 sei eine Anpassung in die veränderten Gegebenheiten an Europa, sprechen Esper. Sie diene der Abschreckung Russlands, das Stärkung der NATO und das Unterstützung ns Verbündeten.

Nach erklärungen des Ministers und von Europa-Oberbefehlshabers Wolters wird ns Reduzierung um herum 11.900 Soldaten bei Deutschland nach zum derzeitigen Planungsstand bevor allem folgende US-Einrichtungen in der Bundesrepublik betreffen:

• ns U.S. European Command und das European special Operations Command bekomme von Stuttgart nach Mons in Belgien verlegt. Bei der dort stationierten militärischen NATO-Führung, von Supreme Headquarters Allied strength Europe (SHAPE), zu sein Wolters wie NATO-Oberbefehlshaber Ähnlich Chef

• ns 2nd cavalry Regiment ns U.S. Army, derzeit stationiert in Vilseck in Bayern, soll durchaus oder in Teilen bei die usa zurückkehren

• einen Geschwader mit F-16-Kampfjets soll ende Deutschland nach Italien verlegt importieren – besteht aus wurde kein Ortsname genannt, das dürfte sich aber um das Geschwader an Spangdahlem handeln

• mehrere Brigadehauptquartiere werden aus Deutschland nach Belgien und Italien verlegt

• das Kommando das USA zum Einsätze bei Afrika, ns U.S. Africa Command, soll wie das european Command das ende Stuttgart in einen andere Ort kumulieren werden. Wo es künftig stationiert es ist in soll, genannt Wolters nicht – enthalten ist bedeutsam, dass das Africa Command in Stuttgart eingerichtet wurde, weil nein afrikanischer staat zur aufzeichnung bereit war

• ns Korps-Hauptquartier soll an Polen eingerichtet werden, wenn einen entsprechendes Abkommen unterzeichnet ist

• die geplante Verlegung von Tankflugzeugen das U.S. Waiting Force das ende Großbritannien nach deutschland mit rund 2.500 Soldaten ist abgesagt, ns Einheit bleibt an Großbritannien

Die mehrheitlich der aus Deutschland abzuziehenden Soldaten, 6.400 das insgesamt 11.900, wird zwar an den vereinigte staaten stationiert, ziel aber besonders für rotierende Verlegungen in die osteuropäischen staaten bereitstehen.

Nach erklärungen des Pentagon stand zahlreiche einzelheiten für das Umsetzung das Pläne still nicht fest – noch könnten portion davon, dafür Esper, sehr schnell bereits in den kommen Wochen umgesetzt werden. Die ausgaben bezifferte Hythen mit voraussichtlich ns einstelligen Milliardensumme – ns ist bedeutsam, weil der US-Kongress über die Bewilligung über Mitteln für ns Verlegung die Pläne block könnte.

Beim Blick in die angekündigten Truppenreduzierungen fällt auf, das einige Einrichtungen, ns die USA nicht oder zeigen unter großem Aufwand verlegen könnten, bei Deutschland bleibe werden: das Luftwaffenbasis in Ramstein ebenso wie das Militärkrankenhaus in Landstuhl und das Trainingszentrum in Grafenwöhr, eines der modernsten ns USA weltweit.

Und eine zweite Auffälligkeit: das osteuropäischen Staaten, besonders Polen, profitieren von diesem Abzug nicht zusammen offensichtlich ich erwartete – insbesondere die groß reichenden Verlegungen nach Italien sollen deutlich eher das Südostflanke das NATO stärken wie die Trump-Anhänger in Polen zufriedenstellen.

Der Abzug von European Command und Africa Command hat neben der praktischen Bedeutung zum Stuttgart natürlich auch einen hohen Symbolwert: Die beiden Steuerungszentralen der US-Streitkräfte zu verlegen, zeigt mehr wie der Abzug über Heereseinheiten und Flugzeugen, dass Deutschland eben doch getroffen bekomme soll.

Die Pressekonferenz von Esper, Hyten und Wolter – an der seinerseits – zum Nachhören:


(Transkript das Pressekonferenz siehe unten)

Nachtrag: eine analysieren von einem Profi – einer früheren Kommandeur ns U.S. Army Europe (den ganzen Twitter-Thread lesen):

Having nur watched ns SecDef, angry CJCS und
US_EUCOM Commander, I in sickened by this decision und explanation.

It zu sein not tied zu any strategic advantage, and in fact ist counterproductive zu showing strength bei Europe.

A couple things:

2/

— unterschrift Hertling (
MarkHertling) July 29, 2020

Nachtrag 2: einer gemeinsame Pressemitteilung über Auswärtigem staatsbüro und Verteidigungsministerium kommen sie diesem thema bringt bisschen neue Informationen:

Zu ns US-Ankündigungen hinsichtlich Veränderungen bei der Präsenz über US- Truppen an Deutschland unterrichtete das Bundesregierung, vertreten weil den Staatsminister innerhalb Auswärtigen amt Niels Annen sowie den Parlamentarischen Staatssekretär am Bundesministerin der angeklagten Dr. Peter Tauber, das Deutschen bundestag sowie ausgewählte Ministerpräsidentinnen und ministerpräsidenten heute zusammen folgt:Den vorliegenden informationen zufolge plant das US-Regierung, ns Präsenz permanent bei Deutschland stationierter Soldatinnen und Soldaten oben maximal 25.000 zu verringern. 6.400 Soldatinnen und soldat sollen an die vereinigte staaten von amerika zurückverlegt werden, zum Teil um von dort im Rahmen über Rotationen wieder bei Europa eingesetzt zu werden. 5.600 Soldatinnen und soldat sollen kontinuierlich innerhalb europas verlegt werden.Von ns Verlegungen nach derzeitigem Stand u.a. Danach Standorte betroffen:• ns derzeit in Stuttgart ansässigen Hauptquartiere USEUCOM und USAFRICOM,• der Standort Vilseck (zugehörig kommen sie Grafenwöhr) in Bayern sowie• der Standort Spangdahlem in Rheinland-Pfalz.Die US-Planungen noch nicht abgeschlossen und kann sein weiteren Anpassungen unterliegen. Ns Umsetzung einiger Verlegemaßnahmen könnte kurzfristig erfolgen, ein Großteil hingegen ns längeren Zeitvorlauf benötigen.Die bundesregierung nimmt diese entscheidung zur kenntnis und wird sich mit Blick an die außerdem Umsetzung eng mit den betroffen Bundesländern, der US-Regierung auch innerhalb das NATO abstimmen.

Und hier das Transkript ns Pressekonferenz (wie stammen aus Pentagon veröffentlicht):

SECRETARY of DEFENSE mark T. ESPER: Okay, great morning, everyone, und thank you zum joining us today.

Since being sworn into office much more than a year ago, I oase been consistent in stating the my oberteil priority would certainly be implementing the national Defense Strategy. Over die past year, we’ve done nur that.

If you look at my recent message to ns Joint force regarding the progress we’ve made, sie will lakers very clearly how far we schutz moved end our 3 lines of effort, which include the first line of effort, building more lethal force, and the second line des effort, strengthen alliances, as well as our 10 subordinate goals.

One important initiative to advance the NDS has been kommen sie conduct a review des all the combatant commands kommen sie ensure a focus on NDS priorities. This consists of optimizing our force presence worldwide; directing our time, money, und manpower towards our greatest priorities; implementing ours immediate solution force, contingency response force, und dynamic pressure employment intensified readiness concepts; und moving toward better use des rotational forces from the United States kommen sie enhance our strategic flexibility and operational unpredictability, together we’ve done over the past few months with our bomber task forces.

We room pursuing several other initiatives under this rubric as well. There are currently much more than a half-dozen combatant command reviews underway, beginning with U.S. Africa Command, which started late belastung year, und the many recent being U.S. An are Command.

Today, us want kommen sie update sie on ns status von our U.S. European Command review, which was accelerated with die president’s decision an early June to reduce ours footprint bei Germany, and our plans zu reposition ours forces bei Europe to be better-situated zum great energie competition.

It ist important to note that bei NATO’s 71-year history ns size, composition und disposition of U.S. Forces an Europe has readjusted many times. Sometimes this has been a result des changes in the threat, periodically because of other changes in the international environment, and sometimes just because the borders between NATO countries und Russia have shifted as neu allies have joined.

As we’ve entered a neu era of great stärke competition, us are now at another one des those inflection points bei NATO’s history, and I’m confident ns alliance will be all the better und stronger zum it. Due to the fact that June, EUCOM has done great work in developing a plan that achieves die president’s objective and meets ns following five values that i gave general Wolters together he und his staff began their planning: first, amplified deterrence des Russia; second, combine NATO; third, reassure allies; fourth, enhance U.S. Strategic flexibility und EUCOM operational flexibility; und fifth, take care des our service members und their families in the process.

The chairman approved die EUCOM plan in late June, we briefed crucial members of Congress last week, and the team und I speak with nato Secretary basic Stoltenberg and directly-affected allies over ns past few days. As we share ns plan v you, i want to note that this plan zu sein subject to, und likely möchte change zu some degree as the evolves over time.

The present EUCOM plan wollen reposition roughly 11,900 army personnel native Germany, from about 36,000 down kommen sie 24,000, in a way that will strengthen NATO, enhance die deterrence des Russia, und meet die other principles ich set forth. Von the 11,900, practically 5,600 leistungen members möchte — möchte be repositioned within nato countries, und approximately 6,400 möchte return to ns United States, though many of these or comparable units möchte begin conducting rotational deployments rückseitig to Europe.

The large strokes of these moves room as follows. First, various vereinigt States headquarters will be consolidated in locations in Europe outside des Germany, including bei some cases, co-locating at die same places as their nato counterparts in Belgium and Italy. This will strengthen NATO and improve die operational efficiency and readiness von over 2,000 leistungen members in these headquarters.

Second, the nearly 4,500 members von the 2nd Cavalry Regiment möchte return to the United says as various other Stryker units begin continuous rotations farther east bei the schwarze farbe Sea region, giving us a much more enduring presence zu enhance deterrence and reassure allies follow me NATO’s southeastern flank.

Third, ns 2,500 airmen based in Mildenhall, vereinigt Kingdom, who room responsible weil das aerial refueling and special operations, und who had been scheduled kommen sie rebase to Germany, wollen remain bei the blume Kingdom, therefore ensuring the uninterrupted readiness und responsiveness des these units.

Fourth, a fighter squadron and elements von a fighter wing wollen be repositioned to Italy, relocating them closer kommen sie the black Sea region und better capable des conducting dynamic force employments und rotational deployments kommen sie NATO’s southeastern flank.

In addition zu these moves and the rotational forces announced von President Trump und Polish president Duda bei 2019, we so plan ~ above rotating forward ns lead element von the Army’s newly created V Corps headquarters zu Poland, as soon as Warsaw indicators a defense participation agreement and burden-sharing deal, as formerly pledged. There room or might be other avenues as well zu move added forces right into Poland und the Baltics.

Our aim zu sein to implement these moves as expeditiously — together expeditiously together possible, constant with ns principles ich set forth from ns beginning, an especially being fair to and taking care von our service members and their families. We could see some moves start within weeks, others will take longer.

As anyone might see, ns repositioning des our forces in Europe constitutes a significant strategic und positive shift wholly in line with ns NDS and consistent with various other adjustments ns United States had made within NATO in previous times.

These changes wollen achieve the core principles des enhancing U.S. And NATO deterrence des Russia, increase NATO, reassuring allies, und improving U.S. Strategic flexibility and EUCOM to work flexibility. And of course, weist all times, we möchte prioritize our most importance resource: our service members und their families.

No moves möchte take place without thorough interaction with our people, continued engagement with Congress, und consultation with our allies.

Thank you, and I will now turn it end to die vice chairman des the joint Chiefs des Staff, general Hyten, and then EUCOM Commander general Wolters.

GENERAL john HYTEN: say thanks to you, Mr. Secretary.

Good morning, everyone, und thanks for being here today.

Looking back at history, nato was established much more than 70 years ago von 12 countries who signed ns North Atlantic Treaty right here an Washington. France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands comprised ns eastern flank. Together other countries joined NATO, the eastern flank shifted zu Germany, and has continued to expand more into eastern Europe, jetzt with 30 countries in NATO. Deswegen another rebalance zu sein essential.

One of our major missions is to prevent one more great power war, and to keep great stärke peace. The national Defense Strategy, die NDS, travel guide our efforts zu adapt the force, und the EUCOM plan optimizes our force posture in Europe together we seek to deter malign actors there.

This rebalance continuous with die NDS will align NATO und EUCOM capabilities, better distribute forces throughout Europe, und increase ns use von rotational forces, for this reason bolstering our commitment to Europe. It boosts deterrence und improves work flexibility.

Repositioning our forces and making consolidations will provide basic Wolters, as ns commander, enhanced ability kommen sie dynamically rental his force. This effort möchte increase methods to kollege with and strengthen our bond with allies and partners in the region. The will also require additional planning und consultation with our allies.

And let me emphasize the point. We oase been and we möchte remain transparent and collaborative together planning und execution move forward.

I had ns opportunity, as die secretary just mentioned, to speak with a number des my military counterparts end the last week kommen sie preview the force posture changes in Europe that we’ve outlined. Every day, our allies and partners join us in defending freedom, deterring war, und maintaining the rules i m sorry underwrite a free and open international order. This strategic attitude realignment an Europe, und other action INDOPACOM zu sein taking as well, should send a clear, unmistakable message kommen sie our competitors: ns joint force is committed zu acting as avenues arise kommen sie counter malign activities, and we continue to be positioned kommen sie deter military aggression against the U.S. Und its — and our allies. While us hope the Russia and China will engage in more productive and cooperative behavior an the future, we space posturing our forces kommen sie deter aggression und counter their malign influence.

So die secretary highlighted many of the details. Ich won’t enter those, but i want kommen sie take a brief momente to just touch on ns impact to our force and our families.

For nearly 40 years, I’ve watched our people and our families sacrifice zum this country. It’s impressive what they’ve done and what they continue kommen sie do, und I believe that’s ns greatest advantage that us as ns United States von America have. It’s our people in the Army, ns Navy, die Air Force, Marines, und our families.

The civilization we oase to perform this aufgabe are many incredible. We’re going to work closely und communicate frequent — generally with each of the dienstleistungen on implementing the changes that we move forward, and most importantly, we want zu ensure stability for the dienstleistungen members and their families. Service members will be informed von re-stationing decisions well an advance in order to prepare themselves und their families weil das any moves. The safety und well-being von our service members und their households remains our top priority.

And finally, we’ll continue zu work very closely with the Congress, and they wollen be consulted on any kind of movements des units zurück to die United States, as well as repositioning in Europe.

So ich want zu close by thanking all our servicemen und women. Ich want to recognize each and every one des them who are in this fight. Ns readiness of our military is strong. We’re capable. We’re ready, no matte what die threat. Nobody doubts the readiness of the vereinigt States military zu respond and defend the American civilization if required, and our allies.

With that, I’ll turn it over zu General Wolters, who staff angeführt the effort to develop ns plan you heard ns secretary describe. We’ll lead further detailed discussions, and also planning und implementation in the future. Over zu you, general Wolters.

GENERAL tod WOLTERS: thank you, Secretary Esper, und thank you, vice Chairman Hyten.

Good morning und good afternoon zu all von you from ours headquarters here in Mons, Belgium. Our U.S. EUCOM strategie demands ever-increasing speed an all endeavors, und ever-improving posture. We focus on plot inside und outside our area des responsibility, und vigilance through respect to great stärke competition is an absolute imperative.

As was discussed, this realignment enables us kommen sie favorably deter against Russia, help NATO, strengthen die alliance, boost Secretary Esper’s strategic flexibility and improve EUCOM’s to work flexibility, all ns while maintaining a near eye on ns care and feeding von our families.

As Secretary Esper highlighted, die current setup proposes die repositioning von headquarters at the combatant command, component command und lower levels. Repositioning U.S. EUCOM headquarters and its component, U.S. Unique Operations Command Europe from Germany to Belgium co-locates these establishments with shape headquarters. This wollen improve die speed und clarity von our decision-making und promote better operational alignment.

Also, there ist the potential zu reposition U.S. AFRICOM headquarters and its component, U.S. Special Operations Command Africa kommen sie a location kommen sie be determined. We also intend to reposition three brigade-sized headquarters, in air defense artillery battalion and bei engineering battalion kommen sie Belgium native Germany, und two smaller support und contracting organizations kommen sie Italy. Pending further planning and refinement, us anticipate the 52nd Civil design Squadron might move soonest, weist a time kommen sie be determined, from Germany kommen sie Italy. Und as Secretary Esper spicy out, we will propose repositioning in F-16 fighter squadron, that aircraft, its pilots and its jet mechanics from Germany kommen sie Italy. We deshalb anticipate the repositioning of two battalions native Germany zu Italy to reunite through their parental brigade headquarters, a relocate that möchte enhance unity des command.

The proposal zu reposition forces rückseitig to CONUS, as ns secretary stated with respect to ns 2nd Cav Regiment, wollen allow those units kommen sie regain preferably U.S. At-home-station readiness und more successfully support global contingencies, while blieb maintaining a keen emphasis on Europe. Ns forces repositioned in ~ Europe möchte better promote und better perform an extensive defense and shared response. This is in alignment v NATO’s new military strategy, the erste strategy document weil das the military in over sechs decades. These efforts all rise our opportunity zu generate higher peace in Europe und enhance the U.S.’s effectiveness in great energie competition.

We watch forward kommen sie taking her questions.

STAFF: all right, deswegen we’ll go to the phones first, Lita Baldor. I’d nur ask everybody kommen sie keep it to one question today dafür we tun können get through some people. If not, I’ll it is in forced to reclaim mine time. Deshalb Lita Baldor.

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(Laughter.)

Q: Hi. Thanks.

One question zum — nur requesting a couple of details. How viel — Mr. Secretary, about how much do freundin think this möchte cost? just how — what — how countless troops do sie think tun können get moved much more quickly? you — sie mentioned some can be able to be relocated within weeks. Just how many of those do sie think could be relocated within weeks? und could you just give a wenig bit more detail on those comes home? wherein would they come home to? say thanks to you.

SEC. ESPER: Okay, i think that’s about three questions, yet I’ll — I’ll take a fast swag hinweisen them.

Clearly, ns costs right jetzt are estimates. It’ll — it’ll take it a several billion dollars, I’d say, single digits, but that — that’ll be spread out over time, obviously. But we need to refine that. That’s where a gewächs of this work wollen come in in terms des fine-tuning it.

Where die units will go into die States, that’s going zu be a — a matter of consultation, von course, v Congress. It’ll it is in a leistungen responsibility kommen sie determine where they need to go to enhance ns readiness, to make certain we oase adequate housing and childcare und hospital care und all that for families. Dafür that’ll be a procedure that’ll it is in undertaken von the — by the services.

And v regard to how conveniently units wollen move, like ich said, I’ll nur say a matt of weeks. It calls for diplomacy. We’ve been in touch with state Department, working close through them. Castle — castle — lock feel very strongly the this ist a positive move, together well. I’ve spoken zu Secretary Pompeo, deshalb we need kommen sie rely in — in — an good degree on your diplomatic efforts, as well.

But this zu sein something we want zu do, we feel very an excellent about. Us think that meets all the principles and objectives ich outlined, dafür we want to get there as quickly as possible because von the prestige it has actually to die alliance and to deterring Russia.

STAFF: (inaudible) I’m sorry. Moving rückseitig to domestically.

SEC. ESPER: Yeah, the service will handhaben the residential piece, so that möchte take part time.

STAFF: Okay. Lena?

Q: I’m Lena Klimkeit from ns German press Agency, GPA.

As you kann imagine, it’s from an excellent importance zum Germany, what you’re announcing today, deshalb I would like kommen sie — to ask weil das the details sites which space affected by the reduction of troops. If freundin could benennen the exact locations, that would be great.

SEC. ESPER: Yeah, I’m going to — i can, but I’m going zu turn this over to General Wolters kommen sie answer due to the fact that he tun können give freundin more substantial answer.

General Wolters, did sie hear ns question?

GEN. WOLTERS: ich did, Secretary. Und if ich could, v respect to ns sites des the EUCOM headquarters, together — as sie well know, they currently reside, the headquarters, hinweisen Patch Barracks in Stuttgart. And we anticipate — again, with much more refinement forced — kommen sie ultimately transition that headquarters right into Mons, Belgium, co-located with shape headquarters.

Corresponding with die EUCOM headquarters movement ist the distinct Operations Command Europe headquarters movement, also in Stuttgart, zu Mons, Belgium, located at die same site.

And we have proposals v AFRICOM. Und as ich mentioned in my opened comments, those discussions schutz a long ways kommen sie go, lots von refinement in front des us and sites to be determined.

And over there are other smaller headquarters an much reduced numbers that were part von my conversation that deshalb can be located in Belgium punkt Chievres complex, it’s in aviation complicated that us work in and the end of. It’s roughly 25 kilometers away from Mons, Belgium. And we anticipate, pending additional refinement, to move some smaller sized headquarters to that location. Thank you.

SEC. ESPER: I’ll just add the probably the area most influenced would be die Stuttgart area, and I had actually a great conversation belastung week with die German defense minister and laid out some von these in detail. We’ll obviously be engaging the defense ministry in the comes days and weeks with much more detail.

STAFF: all right, Nancy?

Q: i had one clear up question, if ich could, und then a more comprehensive one.

You mentioned cost being an the single-digit billions over a period of time. End what period of time? Because i imagine there’ll it is in costs relevant with having rotational forces. Deshalb if you could give us a better understanding des that, und if it come out von reprogramming, wherein those prices would come from?

And then, extensively speaking, can you assist us understand. Freundin talked a lot about die goal des deterring Russia. Why, from her perspective, is having pressures — ns one combat brigade, ns 2nd Cav, out des Europe a better form of deterrence than having them in Europe, closer zu theater?

SEC. ESPER: Yeah, deswegen I’m going kommen sie — I’ll answer both, but then I’m going zu turn kommen sie General Wolters to let er answer in a wenig bit an ext detail.

So you’re right. In terms of cost, it’s going zu be a range des things. It’ll it is in O&M, it’ll be MILCON, sie know, it’ll be die PCS transfers. But des course, freundin know, you oase some profit too, if you’re not moving households back und forth zu Germany, you have savings on the end.

So it’s going zu take a lot of difficult work by our comptrollers, by our gaue won people zu work v that, which zu sein why it’s going to take part time. But i think ours rough actions — what ich told you, based on historical precedent, if you will.

And again, I’ll let general Wolters take the answer — answer your following question.

And ich will say this much, die deployment of rotational pressures from ns United States, we schutz observed, whether it’s die ABCTs walking from ns United States kommen sie Korea or the ABC to Poland or the Bomber task Force, we are finding that they room deploying hinweisen a much higher level des readiness. Und while they are deployed, they are — they are able zu sustain a much more fixed emphasis on your mission und their capabilities. And they — and, third, they kann sein provide a an ext enduring presence.

So I’ll let general Wolters speak kommen sie this to update you. Throughout my time, when i served bei Europe, we would deploy weil das three, four, five, six, 7 weeks punkt a time, but then we come home.

In this case, what you’ll schutz is a an ext enduring presence since we wollen deploy from die United States and able to keep a — units, bei this instance a Stryker brigade, if you will, or elements of it, in the schwarz Sea region bei a an ext enduring way, an ext focused on die mission und not — not constrained, if freundin will, with learning that ns families space back bei Germany. Dafür it gives us a lot more flexibility bei that regard, to do that. Plus, we tun können deploy other form units if we need zu as well.

So, general Wolters, over to you zu follow nach oben on those 2 issues.

GEN. WOLTERS: thank you, Secretary. Und you’re exactly right v respect to die flexibility the it affords us.

And in — bei the discussion around repositioning forces an a an extensive fashion, i mentioned an my opened comments that NATO nur approved its armed forces strategy and its concept, und it talks around all domains, all regions, from a substantial perspective.

With the rotational set that Secretary Esper described, und with united state having ns opportunity, offered this realignment, kommen sie reach out to the southeastern flank in Europe, we’ll jetzt be able to rotate units in perpetuity in multiple locations, kommen sie include possibly Poland, zu include die northeast in the vicinity of the Baltics, zu include die southeast bei the vicinity des the schwarz Sea. And, top top occasion, zurück into Germany.

And die flexibility that this affords us definitely complicates a potential enemy against us and it substantially improves our operational capability kommen sie more effectively deter und defend. Say thanks to you.

SEC. ESPER: speak anything more on die cost piece?

GEN. HYTEN: I’ll — I’ll just real quick —

SEC. ESPER: basic Hyten? Okay.

GEN. HYTEN: — jump bei on ns cost piece. Ns — die secretary claimed single-digit billions, however those are rough estimates. Die — what we schutz right now zu sein really a concept, a principle that we’ve shared with our allies, common with ns Congress, und we’ve mutual inside the department relatively widely. Us now oase to rotate it right into plans.

As you turn it into plans, we have a very structured procedure involving die Joint Staff, the Office of the Secretary, und the combatant commands and the services, zu make certain we understand what those are. Climate we’ll lay in the costs.

But we’re beginning moving best away, with forces moving best away due to the fact that we need kommen sie actually reach out to the potential locations where these forces are going to move, make certain we know what zu sein there, what tun können be there, und then rotate those into real cost estimates. Und then arbeit with ns Congress zu get die resources.

Some des those resources kann sein be handled in year of execution, some möchte be tackled out years, specifically military construction, which will clearly have to it is in handled bei the out years.

STAFF: tom Bowman?

Q: Mr. Secretary, you say this ist about strategy, but die president has clearly said this zu sein about his grudge with Germany. Nur a few weeks ago, he said, „Germany’s been delinquent, des billions von dollars. This is zum years, deswegen we’re removed a number down to“ — putting that number down kommen sie 25,000 soldiers.

He’s linking this kommen sie Germany’s lack von payments to NATO. Deswegen how do freundin reconcile that? You’re speak it’s about strategy, he’s saying it’s about basically sticking it zu Germany.

SEC. ESPER: We began this procedure actually numerous months ago, when ich gave EUCOM direction to begin looking at ways über which we can improve our pressure disposition in Germany, ours composition of — I’m sorry, not Germany. In NATO. Our composition, our size von our forces. That knew it was coming too because ich announced that as soon as my hearing last — last year, also.

So die combatant commanders know the we’re doing this reviews. Us gave certain guidance months prior to that kommen sie begin this process. Und what die president did with his directive bei early June, was to accelerate the process.

When freundin step back und you look at what’s taken place — right? — what you’ll seen is, us are still retaining a little more 보다 24,000 troops an Germany, i beg your pardon is ausblüten a lot, and I think still more than any other country an Europe.

And then sie look punkt what we’re moving. What we’re law is, we’re moving the forces — kommen sie answer your strategie question — we’re moving forces out des central Europe — Germany, wherein they had actually been since die Cold War, due to the fact that I zuerst traveled there in the beforehand 1980s, and we’re now moving — we’re following, bei many ways, die boundary east, where our newest allies are.

So right into the schwarz Sea region, us talked about additional pressures into Poland, und I think there room opportunities to put forces into ns Baltics. That’s why it’s a strategic laydown that boosts deterrence, strengthens ns allies, reassures them. We’ve gotten very positive feedback from several des the countries i mentioned this morning v regard kommen sie this move. Und so overall, ich think it zu sein — again, it meets all those objectives.

Q: i understand what you’re saying, but your boss is saying it’s about Germany gift delinquent. He claimed nothing around strategy.

SEC. ESPER: I’m telling you that this ist going zu accomplish what the president said with regard zu getting united state down zu a reduced numbers bei Europe, und it meets those other objectives i outlined v regard to die strategic piece, die principles, assuring ns allies, and taking care von our leistungen members and families.

STAFF: every right, we’re going zu go to the phones.

Jung Eun Li, from Dong-A Libo?

Q: Hi, say thanks to you zum the briefing. About die reduction plan des the U.S. Troops bei Germany, there room some speculations that some des the troops evacuating an Germany might be redeployed to die Indo-Pacific area danach to answer to die Chinese army threat.

So do you schutz such a plan? kann sein you elaborate an ext on the redeployment und assessing plan von the troops native Germany?

SEC. ESPER: Well, in all things, they might be. Yet because i want zu — ich want to enhance my strategy flexibility, right? That was principle number four, if you will.

But right now, there space no plans zu do so. We’re going kommen sie eventually take a look, as we gain to the INDOPACOM review, und look hinweisen how we kann sein enhance our, again, strategic flexibility, ours operational flexibility, if sie will, und several des those various other principles ich outlined as we head into ns INDOPACOM review.

But right now, there room no plans zu do that. Die plan is to begin these rotations back to Europe an a means that, again, improves my strategy flexibility. But maybe an ext importantly, enhances general Wolters‘ to work flexibility zu deploy them bei a an ext enduring way, wherein he needs to bei the theater — might be this — we’re talking about die southeastern flank, however it could be hoch into die northeastern flank — kommen sie accomplish die objectives that he’s outlined, that I’ve outlined as — as part of our planning.

STAFF: every right, we’re going zu go to ns phones for one an ext from louis Martinez?

Q: Hi, sir, thank sie very much for this briefing. Going back to tom Bowman’s question, President trumpf on die South Lawn has once again restated that really this is more around Germany’s payments, or that its GDP payment are not amounting kommen sie what he would certainly like. Und so he says that everybody should be punkt 4 percent, and he said that Germany has only payment 1 percent. And he referred to as them gift delinquent.

And dafür how kann sein you convey — i know that this process has to be going on weil das quite part time, but is it safe zu say it was accelerated von the president’s opinion the Germany zu sein not doing sufficient with regards zu its GDP payments?

SEC. ESPER: Well, zuerst of all, I’d say kommen sie President Trump’s credit, under his leadership, we have — we’ve seen an increase bei defense spending von NATO. Ich think it’s end $130 billion over a couple of years. We have seen a couple of more nations join — I’ll call die 2 percent club. And that is, countries who have lived up to their wales commitment — ich think the goes back to 2016 under die previous management — kommen sie contribute more zu NATO’s cumulative defense.

Let’s be clear, i think Germany zu sein the wealthiest country in Europe. Germany can und should salary more to its defense. That should definitely meet die 2 percent typical and, ich would argue, walk above und beyond that. And I’ve said that really publicly, I’ve said that really privately kommen sie my counterparts together well, about die importance des NATO, any alliance, sharing the burden so that we tun können all deter Russia and avoid peace in Europe .

And, again, the president’s directive in June accelerated that, und I think we room — we room excited about where we’re going and what it will mean in terms von our ability to enhance deterrence, strengthen ns alliance bei the process.

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STAFF: every right, guys, thank freundin very much.

(Archivbild: previous commander of U.S. Europe Command (EUCOM) Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, left, Secretary des the Army, Dr. Markierung T. Esper, center, and in coming command EUCOM Gen. Tod D. Wolters salute ns colors during the official change von command ceremony might 2, 2019 on spot Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany – U.S. Army photo von Rey Ramon)