WASHINGTON, June16: America is considering to cut the size of US troops in Germany by half because Berlin is “delinquent” in contributions to NATO, says President Donald Trump.
Trump told reporters there are 52,000 US soldiers stationed in Germany and he will bring this to 25,000.
“It’s a tremendous cost to the United States,” he said. “So we’re removing a number down to, we’re putting the number down to 25,000 soldiers.”
Trump’s numbers were misleading because there are only between 34,000 and 35,000 US soldiers permanently stationed in Germany, according to the Pentagon. Rotation of units means the overall number can only temporarily top 50,000.
Trump said he wanted to punish what he said were Germany’s insufficient payments to NATO and to use the troops’ future as a weapon to back up his threats of a trade war with the European Union.
Trump has repeatedly accused European NATO members of freeloading by falling short of their commitment to spend at least two percent of GDP on defense and overly relying on the alliance’s historic leader — the United States.
Trump said Germany, as the economic powerhouse of the European Union, was also to blame because “they treat us very badly on trade.” He said that Germany was profiting from the US troop presence.