In late-June the White House announced plans to reduce American military presence in Germany by 9,500 troops. On Wednesday, the Pentagon announced that the U.S. would begin pulling out 12,000 troops as soon as possible.

Military Times reports that 5,600 of these troops will be re-positioned to other European countries, the remainder will shift to U.S. installations.

“The proposal that was approved not only meets the President’s directive, it will also enhance Russian deterrence, strengthen NATO, reassure Allies, improve U.S. strategic flexibility and U.S. European Command’s operational flexibility, and take care of our service members and families,” said Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman in June.

Approximately 34,500 troops are currently stationed in Germany.

According to U.S. European Command leader Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, at least two headquarter elements will move from Stuttgart, Germany to Mons, Belgium.

The decision to withdraw troops comes from President Donald Trump’s perception that Germany has not committed financially to the region’s military obligations.

“Germany’s delinquent. They haven’t paid their fees, they haven’t paid their NATO fees. The United States has been taken advantage of,” said Trump in a recent briefing.

Photo by U.S. Army