WASHINGTON—In response to the administration’s recent announcement, U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would limit the use of funds to reduce the number of members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty in Germany.
Specifically, the amendment would prevent funds from being used to reduce the number of troops serving in Germany until the Secretary of Defense submits a report to Congress and then certifies to Congress, after consultation with the allies of the United States, that such a reduction:
- Is in the national security interest of the United States;
- Will not undermine the security of United States allies and European partners;
- Will not undermine the deterrence and the defense posture of NATO;
- Will not pose unacceptable risk to the ability of the Armed Forces to execute contingency plans of DoD;
- Will not adversely impact operations of the Armed Forces, including operations of United States Central Command and the United States Africa Command;
- Will not negatively impact military families;
- Will not result in significant additional costs for redeployment and relocation of U.S. troops.
“The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany would be a gift to Russia, and that’s the last thing we should be doing,” Senator Romney said. “In addition to undermining our NATO alliance, a withdrawal would present serious logistical challenges and prevent our military from performing routine military readiness exercises. I urge my colleagues to take up our measure to prevent such a reduction in troops deployed to Germany. We cannot abandon our commitment to our allies, and instead must strengthen our alliances in order to reign in the world’s bad actors and promote the values of freedom and democracy around the world.”
“At a time when the U.S. and our European allies must continue to stand hand in hand in deterring malign influences, it is in our national security interest, as well as in the interest of our allies and partners, to continue our presence in Germany,” Senator Rubio said.
“The United States has always been more secure at home thanks to our allies abroad,” Senator Coons said. “Withdrawing nearly 10,000 troops from Germany, without consulting German leadership or our other European allies does not make America any safer. I’m proud to support this effort led by Senator Romney to push back against this reckless decision by prohibiting the use of funds to withdraw our troops from Germany. In times of domestic and international turmoil, our alliances keep us safer, healthier, and more prosperous. A hasty arbitrary withdrawal only emboldens our adversaries.”
“With Russian aggression persisting, withdrawing troops from Germany would weaken a key alliance, threaten our national security, and empower U.S. adversaries. I hope our colleagues will join us in sending a strong, bipartisan message in support of preventing troop reductions in Germany,” Senator Kaine said.
“The United States’ military presence in Germany is mutually beneficial to both nations, and bolsters the transatlantic alliance. It’s also an invaluable hub for U.S. military operations,” Senator Shaheen said. “The administration’s withdrawal plans would inflict lasting damage to our transatlantic relations and harms our national security. I’m proud to support this bipartisan amendment and hope that the Senate takes this opportunity to send a resounding message to the administration and our allies alike that the United States stands firmly with our allies.”
Text of the amendment can be found here.