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Moving US troops ‘closer to Russia’s border’ is necessary to ensure ‘collective security’, Pentagon claims
Criticisms of the US troop reduction in Germany are unwarranted, Mark Esper has said, claiming that many of these forces are simply being relocated further east in order to serve as a more effective deterrent against Russia.
The Pentagon chief said in an interview with Fox News that military personnel leaving Germany would be put to better use once they are stationed along Russia’s border.
“We are moving many troops further east, closer to Russia’s border, to deter them,” he said, adding that moving troops eastward is only logical because “the border has shifted as the alliance has grown.”
He also accused Germany of not paying its “fair share” for defense, noting that the NATO ally was still the largest “recipient” of US troops.
“It is collective security, it is about our collective responsibility to stand up to the Russians,” Esper argued.