Kinzinger, McCaul urge administration to retain U.S. military footprint in Germany

U.S. Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) earlier this week urged the president against reducing the numbers of U.S. service members stationed in Germany.

“I am concerned that significantly reducing the United States military footprint in Germany may do more to harm to the national security interests of the U.S. and our NATO allies and partners than it will to incentive Germany to contribute more to our collective security,” said Rep. McCaul, ranking member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“The United States is the most powerful country in the world with the greatest military in the world, and our troops stationed abroad serve a critical role in representing this nation, our freedoms, our democracy,” said Rep. Kinzinger, who also serves on the committee. “I’m deeply concerned by the decision to move troops out of Germany.” 

Reps. McCaul and Kinzinger led four of their colleagues in sending a June 22 letter to President Donald Trump expressing their concerns about reduced U.S. troops in Germany. 

“This is not the time to take any action that might cause the Putin regime to question the credibility of the NATO deterrent or might lead our NATO allies and partners to doubt the U.S. commitment to our collective security,” wrote the lawmakers, who also included U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).

The U.S. military footprint in Germany is critical as it serves America’s strategic interests by enabling U.S. power projection beyond Europe and into the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, the congressmen wrote. 

At the same time, it also supports the United States “as it once again finds itself squaring off against authoritarian regimes in Russia and China,” which actively seek to sow division between the U.S. and its allies and partners, according to their letter.   

“While we certainly commend any effort to strengthen our position in other NATO nations, we cannot do so at the detriment of Germany,” Rep. Kinzinger said. “As our letter states, we urge the president to take these issues into consideration, but also to recognize the value of our alliances and the efforts we’ve made from this strategic positioning in Germany.”

Rep. McCaul said he looks forward to engaging with the Trump administration on this issue and being briefed on the future of U.S. military posture in Europe and the Indo Pacific.

“I also look forward to discussing their strategy to ensure US interests, and those of our NATO allies and other partners, are best served in the face of aggression from the Putin regime and the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.