The U.S.’ Africa Command (AFRICOM) has been told to evacuate Germany. The move comes in response to the Trump administration’s announcement that it was drawing down nearly 12,000 troops from Germany this week.
It was the latest move in President Trump’s long-running feud with Berlin over Germany’s lack of what is considered adequate NATO defense spending.
“We don’t want to be the suckers any more,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. “We’re reducing the force because they’re not paying their bills; it’s very simple.”
“U.S. Africa Command has been told to plan to move,” AFRICOM commander Army Gen. Stephen Townsend said in a statement. “While it will likely take several months to develop options, consider locations, and come to a decision, the command has started the process. We will ensure we continue to support our host nation and African partners and our families and forces throughout.”
US Africa Command has been headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany since 2008.
AFRICOM has said that it “will look first at options elsewhere in Europe, but also will consider options in the United States.” The move is likely to take “several months” it said.
The move to draw down troops angered Germany, not the least of which because it was not made aware of the decision before hand.
“This is completely unacceptable, especially since nobody in Washington thought about informing its NATO ally Germany in advance,” said Peter Beyer, a German lawmaker, and member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration.
Photo by The Department of Defense