The United States will end its support for “offensive operations” in Yemen and froze former President Donald Trump’s ordered troop withdrawal from Germany, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced Thursday.
The actions are part of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s ongoing “global review” of U.S. force posture, Sullivan told reporters at Thursday’s press briefing. Biden’s action on Yemen cancels two sales of “precision-guided munitions” to forces in Yemen that Sullivan said would have perpetuated the civil war and humanitarian crisis in the country. Biden will also announce a new official State Department envoy to Yemen later Thursday.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) February 4, 2021
Yemen’s civil war between its government and Iranian-backed rebels has led to a devastating famine. Trump’s administration had threatened further sanctions against the rebel forces. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have long supported the Yemeni government against the Iranian proxy forces.
WASHINGTON (AP) — White House: Biden freezing Trump-ordered withdrawal of US troops from Germany, Pentagon to conduct global review.
— darlene superville (@dsupervilleap) February 4, 2021
Trump had ordered a partial withdrawal of U.S. forces in Germany in late July, saying the country had been “delinquent” in its defense contributions to NATO. He ordered 11,900 troops currently stationed in Germany to either redeploy across Europe or return to the U.S.
“We don’t want to be the suckers anymore,” Trump told reporters at the time. “The United States has been taken advantage of for 25 years, both on trade and on the military. We’re protecting Germany, so we’re reducing the force because they’re not paying the bills. It’s very simple. They’re delinquent. So we’re reducing the force. Now if they start paying their bills… I would think about it.”
Biden will address America’s foreign policy officials at the State Department for the first time later Thursday, where he is expected to formalize many of the announcements Sullivan made at the White House briefing.