Conservative German lawmakers slam Trump’s plan to withdraw US troops

Two conservative German lawmakers have criticized President Trump’s reported decision to yank more than a quarter of American troops out of their country, with one saying Russia and China will be the real winners of discord in the West.

Trump told the Pentagon to cut the number of soldiers stationed in Germany by 9,500. Currently there are 34,500 American service members permanently assigned in Germany as part of a long-standing arrangement with America’s NATO ally, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Conservative German lawmaker Norbert Roettgen said a troop withdrawal would be “very regrettable” in an interview with a German media outlet, the Journal reported.

Roettgen, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc who chairs the German parliament’s foreign policy committee, said he couldn’t see “any factual reason for the withdrawal.”

Johann Wadephul, the deputy chairman of the Union’s parliamentary caucus, said the US decision to withdraw troops without consulting with its NATO allies “shows once again that the Trump administration is neglecting basic leadership tasks.”

Wadephul said Russia and China would benefit from Trump’s plan.

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