Beijing, January 28 (Xinhua) new U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in a phone call with the German defense minister on the 27th, expressed his gratitude to the German side for accepting the U.S. garrison, which triggered speculation that US President Joseph Biden might overturn his predecessor’s “withdrawal order.”.
The Pentagon said in a statement that Austin had a phone call with German defense minister Annie Gretel Kramp kalenbauer on the same day to “thank Germany” for continuing to serve as the U.S. garrison.
Austin plans to review the global deployment of U.S. forces, including the withdrawal order issued by then president Donald Trump last year, Reuters reported. At that time, trump blamed Germany for not increasing the proportion of defense spending and paying up the “membership money” of NATO, saying that the United States “does not want to be a fool any more”.
According to trump’s withdrawal plan, the US military will withdraw about 12000 people from Germany, accounting for one third of the total number of US troops in Germany. The US European Command in Stuttgart, in southwestern Germany, will move to Belgium.
Austin has a different attitude. A U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said Austin assured trump kalenbauer that the U.S. side would consult with Germany on this in the future.
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, telephoned Biden on the 25th to congratulate him on his inauguration and invite him to visit Germany when circumstances permit.