Claiming that Berlin had “Arrears” in his contributions to NATO and dealt with ” wrong “ Donald Trump announced on Monday in trade matters that he wants to significantly reduce the number of American soldiers in Germany. The President has assured the press that 52,000 American soldiers are currently stationed in Germany, the main anchor of American NATO forces. “It’s a huge cost to the United States”, he added. “So we will reduce the number, we will bring it to 25,000.”
The number of soldiers permanently deployed in Germany was only 34,674 in March 2020, according to official Pentagon figures. However, this figure can exceptionally rise to 52,000 when rotations in progress are added to military exercises.
The first reports of the Trump administration’s plan to reduce the US military presence in Germany had caused concern in Berlin when it was published in the daily Wall street journal at the beginning of the month. The figure announced by Trump on Monday corresponds to estimates by the newspaper, which suggested a reduction of 9,500 soldiers to bring their number to 25,000.
Although their numbers have declined since the Cold War, Germany is home to more American soldiers than any other European country, a legacy of the Allied occupation after the Second World War. US bases in Germany serve as a stopover for forces deployed in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, which may temporarily increase the strength.
The United States “treated very badly” in commercial matters
The resurgence of Russia’s military ambitions under the presidency of Vladimir Putin has given the American presence a new importance, but Donald Trump justified his decision by the fact that Germany does not, according to him, contribute enough to the budget of the ‘NATO.
“Germany is in arrears, they have been in arrears for years and they owe billions of dollars to NATO, and they have to pay”, he said. “We are protecting Germany and they are in arrears, that’s ridiculous. “
In addition, the American president reproached the first economic power of the European Union for “Treat very badly” the United States in commercial matters.
“We are negotiating with them on this but I am not happy with the agreement they are offering. They have cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars over the years in trade, so it hurts us in trade and it hurts us in NATO. “
He accused Germany of profiting from the US military presence. “They are well paid soldiers. They live in Germany, they spend tons of money in Germany “, he explained. “All around these bases, it’s very rich. Germany benefits. “
Tensions since Merkel’s refusal to participate in person at the G7
Trump’s relationship with Angela Merkel has been strained somewhat since the Chancellor declined the President’s invitation to attend a G7 summit in person in June due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Republican billionaire, who has his eye on the presidential election of November 3, wanted to put his world leadership forward with a G7 summit in Washington. After M’s refusalme Merkel, he postponed the summit, announcing his intention to invite Russia.