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Germany

U.S. Doesn't Plan Major Troop Withdrawal in Germany

Speaking in Berlin on Tuesday, General Charles Wald, deputy commander of United States European Command, confirmed that Washington will maintain a substantial military presence in Germany and has no plans to pull out and set up permanent bases elsewhere in Europe. Observers have been expecting the U.S. to move up to one-third of its 115,000 troops out of western Europe and into former eastern-bloc territory. German bases make up 84 percent of U.S. troop presence in Europe, largely due to Cold War policy. Germans have been concerned that the need for more rapid-reaction forces, the U.S. war on terrorism and Berlin's opposition to the Iraq war would lead to a withdrawal of U.S. troops. Wald conceded that the U.S. military would reduce its numbers in Europe, but he stressed, "We belong in Germany with our forces."