WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, after the Trump Administration announced plans to move ahead with a plan to withdraw nearly 12,000 U.S. troops from Germany at an undefined cost that Secretary of Defense Esper acknowledged would be “several billion dollars,” U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“This is a self-inflicted wound by President Trump against American interests.  Any realignment of our forces in Europe must serve U.S. strategic objectives, including strengthening deterrence of Russian aggression, reassuring our allies of our commitment to NATO common defense, and keeping faith with our military families.  The Administration’s moves outlined today lack a strategic rationale, weaken our allies’ confidence in the reliability of U.S. defense commitments, and serve to embolden Putin’s efforts to divide the Alliance.  This is the type of move Secretary Mattis was able to stand up to in the past, but this Administration seems to be unraveling under the strain of the pandemic.  Today we heard just a thin outline of an irrational and ill-conceived proposal.  Now Congress has an obligation to dig into this issue on a bipartisan basis and the Administration needs to be more forthcoming about its rationale and cost estimates.”