President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused a “delinquent” Germany of taking advantage of the United States on trade and the military as his administration confirmed it was yanking 11,900 troops from the country in coming weeks.
It’s not like the mainstream news media didn’t run stories about Trump’s complaints about European countries not paying their share for protection.
Before heading off to Texas, the president spoke with reporters at the White House where he complained about Germany not paying their dues of NATO fees, and taking advantage of the US to protect Germany from Russia.
“Germany is delinquent. They haven’t paid their fees — they haven’t paid their NATO fees. They’re way off. They’ve been way off for years and they have no intention of paying it,” Trump said. NATO is a military alliance that was created after WWII.
“The United States has been taken advantage of on trade and military and everything else for many years and I’m here and I’ve been straightening it out,” he continued.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that the United States is going to permanently withdraw close to 12,000 troops that are stationed in Germany. A little over half will be sent home and the rest will more-than-likely be redeployed to different NATO countries. A number of troops will go to Italy, while the headquarters of the US European Command and Special Operations Command Europe will be relocated from Stuttgart, Germany, to Belgium.
“These changes will achieve the core principles of enhancing US and NATO deterrence of Russia, strengthening NATO, reassuring allies and improving U.S. strategic flexibility,” Esper said.
This is why Trump supporters will never abandon him. US politicians for far too long have allowed other countries to take advantage of us, costing US taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. Our leaders should have done something about it a long time ago. They didn’t, so now Trump is doing something about it. And the Left and RINOs will complain about Trump putting America First.
The move significantly reduces the number of American soldiers in Germany from 36,000 to 24,000, and will apply to troops at Ramstein Air Base, the largest American military base outside of the US.
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has made known his support for the plan while at the same time he acknowledged it will take “months to plan and years to execute.” He was briefed on the plan last week, and he issued a statement saying the “concept for realigning U.S. military posture in Europe” is sound.
It’s not like the German government hasn’t been warned. Why should we have to foot the majority of the bill when other countries don’t pay?
German leaders rebuked the decision, saying it was a gift to China and Russia and a sign of the fraying relationship between Berlin and Washington.
But House Republicans have criticized the plan to remove troops from Germany as a gift to Russia and a threat to US national security. Twenty-two Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee wrote a letter to the president saying a reduced US commitment to Europe’s defense would encourage Russian aggression and opportunism.
Then that would be on Germany for not paying their fair share, wouldn’t it? We can’t keep giving away our treasure for free. Eventually we’ll commit to too much freeloading and it will harm our own people. In fact, that’s exactly why Trump was elected, to run an America First foreign policy that no longer pays other countries to take advantage of us.
It’s not only the fact that Germany refuses to pay what they owe, it’s that they don’t have to spend money on their own defense, since the US has been there for decades defending them, and on top of that, we’re supposed to be defending Germany from Russia, but the Germans entered into an agreement with Russia for oil and gas.
In short, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a freeloader.
Merkel has not yet acknowledged she will attend this year’s G7 meeting. Her loss.
Trump announced the plan to remove the troops last month during a White House Rose Garden event as he tore into Germany for spending billions on Russian energy while asking the US to protect them from Russia.
On Wednesday, Trump asked, “Germany owes billions and billions of dollars to NATO. Why would we keep all of those troops there?” He continued, “And now Germany is saying it’s bad for their economy? Well, it’s good for our economy,” he said, threatening more action against the US ally.
“They’ve taken advantage of us for many years. You think that’s bad? They take worse advantage of trade and I was all set to fix that and then we go hit with the China plague, but we’ll be fixing it,” he said, referring to the Chinese virus pandemic.
Rich is syndicated opinion columnist for David Harris Jr. and owner of Maga-Chat.com. He writes about politics, culture, liberty and faith.
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