Trump ‘to withdraw thousands of US soldiers from Germany by end 2020’

US President Donald Trump has told the Pentagon to withdraw between 5,000 and 15,000 troops from Germany.

Trump ‘to withdraw thousands of US soldiers from Germany by end 2020’
US President Donald Trump. Photo: Picture alliance/dpa

There are currently an estimated 34,500 US troops on bases across Germany. DPA reports that after the troop reduction, Trump also wants to cap the number of US soldiers stationed in Germany to 25,000. 

German media outlet Der Spiegel reported on Friday that the US Congress had been informed that the Pentagon was set to withdraw between 5,000 and 15,000 US troops from Germany by autumn of 2020. 

DPA reports that the Pentagon has been informed by the White House that the number of troops to be removed is 9,500. 

The White House declined to comment on the speculation, saying “the US remains committed to working with our close ally Germany”. 

Despite this, former US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, suggested in August of 2019 that a troop reduction would take place as a tit for tat for Germany’s continued trade surplus. 

“It is really insulting to expect that the US taxpayer will continue to pay more than 50,000 Americans in Germany, but that the Germans will use their trade surplus for domestic purposes,” he said. 

In addition to the 35,000 troops, approximately 17,000 American and 12,000 German civilians are employed by US troops. 

It would be the largest troop reduction in Germany since between 10,000 and 15,000 soldiers were removed from Europe in 2012

The US Army has retained a sizeable troop presence in Germany since the end of the Second World War. At the end of the Cold War in 1990, there were an estimated 200,000 US troops across Europe, 41,000 of which were in Germany. 

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Deutsche Bank set ‘to cut ties with Trump’

Deutsche Bank will cease its longstanding relationship with outgoing US president Donald Trump, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank set 'to cut ties with Trump'
Deutsche Bank's headquarters in Frankfurt. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bank was Trump's primary lender for two decades, and he owes the institution more than $300 million, according to the newspaper, which cited an unnamed source as saying the German lender “has decided not to do business with Mr. Trump or his company in the future.”

Deutsche Bank declined to comment to AFP.

The move comes on the heels of last week's violent attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters at the president's incitement, and follows steps taken by other companies to cut ties with Trump and his businesses.

READ ALSO: Trump under investigation for Deutsche Bank ties

Christiana Riley, head of Deutsche Bank's US division, called the violent
siege on the Capital “a dark day for America and our democracy” in a post on LinkedIn last week.

“We are proud of our Constitution and stand by those who seek to uphold it to ensure that the will of the people is upheld and a peaceful transition of power takes place,” Riley said.

“It is my hope that these shocking events will result in a reinvigoration
of the principles our nation was built upon.”

Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank has sparked numerous probes in the United States, including in New York, where the Manhattan District Attorney is investigating whether Trump committed financial crimes as he sought loans.

READ ALSO: 'Worlds between us': What Trump's German family's town thinks of him today