After the announcement that the United States will draw down the number of troops stationed in Germany, former U.S. ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell answered a critic of the move who stated that the action was not made as part of a “strategy or a threat assessment.”
“It may not be your assessment but it was planned and will be implemented by the Pentagon,” Grenell replied. “Times change.”
That response triggered former Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, who now serves as an NBC News and MSNBC analyst after losing her re-election bid to Republican Josh Hawley in 2018, to write a sneering reply.
“Of all the sycophants and unqualified folks surrounding Trump, why do I find this guy particularly repugnant?” the former senator wrote Monday. “Because he was given real jobs and didn’t have a clue?”
Of all the sycophants and unqualified folks surrounding Trump, why do I find this guy particularly repugnant? Because he was given real jobs and didn’t have a clue? https://t.co/cCudy7FzIC
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) August 3, 2020
Grenell responded by reminding the former senator of her vote for his confirmation.
“Ummm, you voted for me,” he wrote in a post highlighting her “yea” vote in favor of him. “Or was that because you had an upcoming election and wanted to hoodwink the people of Missouri into thinking you weren’t a partisan?!”
Ummm, you voted for me.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 3, 2020
Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced last Wednesday that the Pentagon would remove nearly 12,000 troops from Germany. “It is important to note that in NATO’s 71-year history, the size, composition and disposition of U.S. forces in Europe has changed many times,” said Esper. “As we’ve entered a new era of great-power competition we are now at another … inflection point in NATO’s history. I am confident the alliance will be all the better and stronger for it.”
”Our aim is to implement these moves as expeditiously as possible consistent with the principles I set forth from the beginning, particularly being fair to, and taking care of our service members and their families,” Esper stated. ”We could see some moves begin within weeks. Others will take longer. As anyone can see, the repositioning of our forces in Europe constitutes a major strategic and positive shift, wholly in line with the NDS and consistent with other adjustments the United States has made within NATO in previous times.”
Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, added, ”This will improve the speed and clarity of our decision-making and promote greater operational alignment.”
“The plan would move about 5,600 American troops now in Germany to other NATO countries, largely Belgium and Italy. It would send another roughly 6,400 troops to new permanent stations in the United States,” Stars and Stripes reported, adding, “The moves would leave about 24,000 troops in Germany.”
Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff echoed, ”This rebalance, consistent with the NDS, will align NATO and Eucom capabilities, better distribute forces across Europe and increase the use of rotational forces, thus bolstering our commitment to Europe. It enhances deterrence and improves operational flexibility. Repositioning our forces and making consolidations will provide General Wolters, as the commander, increased ability to dynamically employ his force. This effort will increase opportunities to partner with and strengthen our bond with allies and partners in the region. It will also require additional planning and consultation with our allies.”
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