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If US withdraws troops from Germany, some of them could be located to Poland

This post was published in Defence 24. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.

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WARSAW, (BM) – The Wall Street Journal said US President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to withdraw 9.5 thousand from Germany by September. WSJ wrote that the appropriate letter has already been issued by the President’s National Security Advisor Robert O ‘Brien.

It would assume that no more than 25,000 soldiers [currently there are about 34.5 thousand, and even more during exercise] would remain in the Federal Republic. According to Reuters, 9.5 thous. soldiers will be transferred to Poland, some will return to the USA, and some will be directed to other allied countries.

For now, the scope and schedule of a possible transfer of troops from Germany to Poland is unknown, and this information has not been confirmed. However, the American administration has already been sending signals about the possibility of moving some of the troops stationed in Germany to Poland last year, including during the visit of President Andrzej Duda to Washington in June last year.

Most of the formations stationed in the Federal Republic are support, logistics and command units serving the Americans in the global power projection system, including the Middle East. However, combat units are also stationed in Germany, which in the event of a crisis would have to be moved to the eastern flank of NATO, including:

  • F-16 squadron;
  • Patriot battalion;
  • newly formed short range air defense battalion with Avenger sets;
  • a newly formed missile artillery brigade with two M270 MLRS battalions;
  • 12th US Army Combat Aviation Brigade;
  • 2nd Cavalry Regiment from KTO Stryker.

The relocation of some or all of the units mentioned above could prove beneficial from Poland’s point of view, although it may cause opposition from other allied countries and increase – objectively unfavorable for Warsaw – divisions in NATO between Western European member states and the USA. In addition, the withdrawal of some troops across the Atlantic due to political reasons may hamper Americans’ future operations in Europe.

Finally, moving permanently stationed troops would require broader infrastructure adaptation than rotary units, and this is, in principle, time consuming and could take place over several years rather than a few months. Reports of possible relocation of troops should be treated with a high degree of caution, and their full assessment will be possible only after the details are disclosed.

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