Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., are leading an effort along with four other colleagues to thwart President Donald Trump from following through on his plans to pull about a third of the U.S. military presence from Germany and relocate the troops elsewhere.
Romney and Shaheen were joined by Sens. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., introducing an amendment Tuesday to the annual National Defense Authorization Act to prevent funds from being used for troop relocation unless seven conditions are met.
The reaction comes about two weeks after the Trump administration disclosed plans to relocate about 9,500 of the approximately 35,000 troops based in Germany out of the long-time NATO ally. Some reports have noted the troops were to be moved to the Pacific, others to Poland.
It also follows a letter by several Republican House members urging Trump to keep the troops in Germany.
Trump has criticized Germany for not spending appropriate resources to maintain its own military for its own defense.
But Romney, Shaheen and the others would prohibit the Trump administration from enacting is plans unless several conditions are met.
The amendment would require Secretary of Defense Mark Esper submit a report to Congress and certify – according to statments by Romney and Shaheen:
“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 (U.S.) armed forces to execute contingency plans of (Department of Defense); 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,” Romney said in a statement.
The measure is the latest effort to alter the NDAA. Last week, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives reintroduced two provisions, removed in a conference committee last year, that would require the Pentagon to survey service members if they have experienced racism, anti-Semitism, or white supremacism in the military and track any activity of such.
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