- Around 12,000 U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Germany amid tensions between the two countries about NATO spending
- The withdrawal will cost the U.S. billions and is expected to take several years to complete
- However, the U.S. President insists it is necessary, as Germany is "taking advantage" of the country
- In particular, Donald Trump has criticised Germany for not spending two per cent of GDP on defence
- The withdrawal will threaten the future of NATO - an alliance of world powers forged post-WWII
The U.S. is pushing ahead with its plan to withdraw around 12,000 troops from Germany, threatening the future of NATO.
U.S. President, Donald Trump, first flagged the withdrawal after complaining that Germany isn't spending a promised two per cent of its GDP on defence.
In giving the go-ahead on Wednesday, President Trump said the country was "taking advantage of the U.S."
"We spend a lot of money on Germany, they take advantage of us on trade and they take advantage on the military, so we're reducing the force," he said.
The move is a big blow for NATO — the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — a group set up post World War Two to protect Europe from future threats.
Speaking on the withdrawal's effect on NATO, the U.S. President said it wasn't America's responsibility anymore, despite the country being a founding member of the organisation.
"They're there to protect Europe, they're there to protect Germany, and Germany is supposed to pay for it," he said.
"We don't want to be responsible anymore," he added.
The withdrawal has already been widely panned by both sides of U.S. politics, as well as by Army officials, who see it as a threat to both America and Europe's security.
Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry organised a letter last month, signed by 21 others, calling for President Trump to re-think the move.
His call was echoed by fellow Republican Mitt Romney, a staunch critic of Trump, who said the withdrawal would hand Russia a distinct military advantage.
It is a gift to Russia coming at a time when we just have learned of its support for the Taliban and reports of bounties on killing American troops. The move may temporarily play well in domestic politics, but its consequences will be lasting and harmful to American interests.— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) July 29, 2020
Along with the political consequences, the drawdown of troops is also set to cost the U.S. billions.
Defence officials said they would need to build new barracks across Europe and the U.S. to accommodate for the thousands of troops being moved.
They also revealed the constructions would likely take years to complete.