German mayor says Trump’s U.S troop pullout mere threat
The mayor of the Bavarian town hosting one of the largest garrisons of U.S troops in Europe said “no one believes that here’’ admitting that threats of that kind fostered a sense of anxiety.
Knobloch said there were no indications that U.S troops would be leaving, on the contrary, the garrison has expanded in recent years, a school and a maintenance hangar are currently being built.
Trump suggested that U.S soldiers could be moved out of Germany into Poland during a visit from Polish President Andrzej Duda in Washington in June.
Trump lashed out at German military spending at the time, saying Poland should be rewarded for hitting a NATO defence spending target of 2 per cent of GDP.
Germany’s medium-term goal of expanding defence spending to 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product by 2024 is lags behind the NATO target.
Also, Germany is host to the largest number of U.S troops in Europe, with more than 10,000 soldiers stationed in the Bavarian towns of Grafenwoehr and Vilseck alone.
A total of 35,000 are stationed in the country, with an additional 17,000 U.S and 12,000 German civilians employed by the U.S military.
Tens of thousand more jobs depend on the U.S presence in the country. (dpa/NAN)