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United States adding 500 troops in Germany: Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin

By ET News

Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Tuesday that he is expanding the US military presence in Germany by 500 troops, suggesting he will not carry out a Trump administration order to withdraw thousands of them.

“This planned increase in US personnel underscores our commitment to Germany and the entire NATO alliance,” Austin said in a notable counterpoint to the Trump administration’s repeated complaints that Germany is a weak partner on defense and security.

Austin made the announcement after talks with German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on his first tour of Europe since becoming Pentagon chief in January.

Kramp-Karrenbauer welcomed the announcement as a “strong signal” of a healthy US-German relationship.

They also discussed a pending decision by President Joe Biden on whether to withdraw completely from Afghanistan by May 1, a deadline the Trump administration pledged to the Taliban militants. Germany is a key part of the US-led coalition in Afghanistan.

Austin said at a joint news conference with Kramp-Karrenbauer that the extra 500 US troops will be stationed permanently in Germany’s Wiesbaden area as early as this fall.

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