WASHINGTON — President Biden is freezing plans to withdraw 12,000 American troops from Germany, administration officers stated on Thursday, and has ordered the Pentagon to conduct a evaluation of how American forces are deployed all over the world.
The transfer would halt a Trump administration plan — which many nationwide safety specialists had seen as punitive — to convey some American troops dwelling from Germany and to shift different items to Belgium and Italy. That plan, which got here final summer time, rankled European leaders and angered each Democratic and Republican lawmakers, who view the presence of American troops in Europe, and particularly in Germany, as a cornerstone of the post-World Struggle II order.
Mr. Biden’s freeze of the troop withdrawal, introduced Thursday by Jake Sullivan, the nationwide safety adviser, forward of the president’s go to to the State Division additionally accompanies what Mr. Sullivan known as “a world pressure posture evaluation.”
The freeze is in line with a collection of strikes the brand new president has made within the final two weeks to undo former President Donald J. Trump’s initiatives on the Pentagon. Mr. Biden has additionally ended his predecessor’s ban on transgender troops serving within the army and, by Protection Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, purged from Pentagon advisory boards a number of dozen members who had been appointed within the waning days of the Trump administration. The Biden administration additionally introduced Thursday that it was discontinuing American help for the Saudi-led battle in Yemen.
The highest American commander in Europe signaled the evaluation in remarks to reporters on Wednesday, when he stated that Mr. Austin was “within the strategy of conducting a really, very thorough evaluation” of Mr. Trump’s drawdown plan.
“The brand new administration has comfortably said to us that we have to conduct a radical evaluation, cradle to grave, in all areas,” Gen. Tod D. Wolters, the top of United States European Command and NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, stated in a information convention from Mons, Belgium. After the evaluation, he stated, “we’ll return to the drafting board.”
In saying Mr. Trump’s plans final summer time, his deputies on the Pentagon tried to painting it as a wanted reshuffling. However that effort was undercut by Mr. Trump himself when he complained — on the similar time his administration was saying the withdrawal — that Germany was, in his phrases, “delinquent” in its army spending.
The withdrawal announcement final summer time blindsided German officers and even some American army officers, who’ve lengthy regarded on the American troop presence in Germany because the bedrock of its dedication to NATO.
A Protection Division official stated Thursday that it was unclear whether or not Mr. Biden alter the troop ranges in Somalia. In one of many final Pentagon-related acts in his presidency, Mr. Trump ordered the 700 American troops who had been coaching and advising Somali counterparts within the battle in opposition to the Shabab in East Africa to go away Somalia. On Jan. 17, the Pentagon introduced in a brief assertion that the American troop withdrawal from Somalia was full.
Lots of these troops merely relocated to close by Kenya, although.
Mr. Biden should additionally determine what to do concerning the remaining 2,500 American troops in Afghanistan. Mr. Trump final yr struck a cope with the Taliban that requires the withdrawal of American troops by Might 1, however that withdrawal is determined by whether or not the Taliban meets its personal dedication to finish violence there.