It’s quickly becoming clear President Joe Biden’s approach to the U.S. military’s role around the world is vastly different than that of former President Donald Trump’s, who was a proponent of scheduling troops stationed around the world to come home.
According to the Washington Examiner, it was announced this week that contrary to Trump’s announcement last year that a large contingent of U.S. troops stationed in Germany would be returning home, Biden instead decided to greenlight the expansion of America’s military presence in Germany by an additional 500 troops.
On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin revealed the new plans, arguing that sending more troops to Germany would benefit America’s long-standing relationship with the country, as well as bolster the NATO alliance.
“This planned increase in U.S. personnel underscores our commitment to Germany and the entire NATO alliance,” Austin said during a press briefing. “These forces will strengthen deterrence and defense in Europe. They will augment our existing abilities to prevent conflict, and, if necessary, fight and win.”
German officials seemed to welcome the news, with German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer describing America’s increased military presence as a “strong signal” of a continued healthy relationship between the United States and Germany.
She added that she was informed by the Biden administration that “there will be no troop reduction as was previously planned,” which was a reference to Trump’s plans to reduce the number of U.S. troops stationed in Germany by roughly 12,000 troops.
Trump, while president, slammed German leaders for not paying their fair share for NATO protection, calling them “delinquent” on their obligations, and announced he would remove U.S. troops as punishment.
Currently, the U.S. has roughly 35,000 troops across a number of military bases in Germany. The additional 500 to be deployed in the near future will be stationed in Germany’s Wiesbaden area.
The news came around the same time that the Biden administration made headlines after announcing that they would miss Trump’s mark of withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May. Instead, according to USA Today, troops stationed there will be returning home by Sep. 11.