Durbin Slams Trump Administration Decision To Remove 12,000 Troops From Germany

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today slammed the Trump Administration’s decision to remove 11,900 American troops from Germany.  In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin shared his concern of both the classified and unclassified versions of this plan, concerns over the differences in the classified briefing he received compared to the public announcements, and President Donald Trump’s continued actions that favor Vladimir Putin.

Yesterday, President Trump defended this decision, stating the troop removal was taking place because Germany was not spending the NATO target of two percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defense.  However, Belgium and Italy, the two countries that will be receiving U.S. troops from Germany, spend similar amounts on defense as Germany does.

“Let me start off by saying this plan makes no sense.  While some are framing this as an improvement of our military posture in Europe, I don’t buy it.  Nobody else should either,” Durbin said.  “President Trump is clearly just using this argument about the percentage contribution and insufficient spending to drive a petty and personal grudge against Germany.” 

Durbin continued, “NATO is the most successful alliance in American history.  Instead of strengthening it, the President of the United States is weakening it.  Instead of leading, he is undermining.  The best way to reassure our allies that we are with them is to scrap this plan now,” Durbin said.  “Instead of pulling back our troops, we should be withdrawing this half-baked plan, and start over anew with a focus on stopping aggression from Vladimir Putin and standing behind our traditional allies.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.