Through their military bases, combat units and military hospitals, American troops stationed in Germany are "the backbone of the American presence in Europe and NATO's capacity for action," the four regional leaders said in a letter to Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten. .
Representatives of the states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Bavaria and Hesse - who come from different political, environmentalist, social-democratic and conservative families - are asking US Congressmen "not to cut, but to strengthen the friendship" between the two countries.
The four states have in common that they each host a military base belonging to the United States.
But the presence of American troops could be reduced soon, after Donald Trump announced in June his intention to withdraw 9,500 troops from the country, which would lead to a reduction of the contingent to 25,000 people.
The US president blames Germany for failing to meet NATO's defense spending targets and for treating the United States "badly" commercially.
American aspirations fuel fears of a weakening of NATO's deterrent capacity, especially against Russia.
After World War II, Germany is the European country with the largest number of American soldiers on its territory.
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