The new U.S. administration is reversing the policy of its predecessor and is not withdrawing soldiers from Germany, but wants to send new ones. The 500 new U.S. soldiers are expected to contribute their expertise in cyberspace and help improve electronic warfare in Europe starting next fall, new U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin during his inaugural visit to Berlin.
What specific qualifications the 500 new U.S. soldiers will bring with them has not yet been revealed. The US government sees a stronger presence as necessary, among other things, because of Russia’s actions in Georgia and its annexation of Crimea, as well as Russia’s prere on Ukraine and other neighboring countries. Also, the U.S. is concerned about Russia increasing cyberattacks in Europe, as well as in Germany. Germany is the key to respond to these provocations, he said.
Donald Trump, predecessor of new U.S. President Joe Biden, wanted to greatly reduce the strength of U.S. troops in Germany. Biden announced a decree to halt this process. Germany is one of the most steadfast allies of the USA, said Austin now. His German counterpart Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer sees it as "a very strong signal for our partnership and friendship", according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Defense.
There are currently 36.000 members of the U.S. military are stationed in Germany. Trump had planned to withdraw 11.900 of them, 5600 of which were to be relocated elsewhere in Europe. The headquarters of Special Operations Command Europe was to be moved from Stuttgart to Mons, Belgium. Biden now wants to stop this plan as well.