President Donald Trump has announced yet another bold move involving the United States military.
According to The Hill, he confirmed on Monday that the administration will be cutting the number of troops stationed in Germany by about half of its current maximum.
As the president has made clear throughout his presidency, he believes the United States has received the short end of the stick by funding international groups like the World Health Organization and NATO at a higher per-capita rate than other nations.
“They have to pay it”
While German has until 2024 to meet NATO’s spending goal, Trump is concerned that the nation is still far short of allocating an agreed-upon two percent of its gross domestic product on defense.
As a result, the president has decided that the U.S. will no longer be present in such large numbers to pick up the slack of an underfunded German military. There are currently about 35,000 American troops stationed in Germany, which is about 17,000 under the existing limitations.
Trump’s latest plan would draw down that number to about 25,000 as well as set a new cap of 25,000 for the maximum number of soldiers allowed to be stationed in Germany.
“Germany’s delinquent,” he said. “They’ve been delinquent for years, and they owe NATO billions of dollars, and they have to pay it.”
“Should do more to contribute”
The president went on to declare that it “doesn’t make sense” for the United States to act as a protector for Germany when it has failed to meet its obligations.
Of course, his latest decree has been met with bipartisan opposition at home. Nearly two dozen members of the House armed services committee have expressed their concerns in a letter recently delivered to the White House. The signers explained that they believed the drawdown in Germany would give Russia a significant advantage in the area while putting American and German interests at risk.
While acknowledging that Germany has not paid its fair share, the letter proclaimed that withdrawing troops should not be the way to rectify the situation.
“We strongly believe that NATO allies, such as Germany, should do more to contribute to our joint defense efforts,” the letter read. “At the same time, we also know that the forward stationing of American troops since the end of World War II has helped to prevent another world war and, most importantly, has helped make America safer.”
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, U.S. Rep. Max Thornberry (R-TX) also expressed his concerns about the military move. As in previous executive decisions related to the military and international relations, though, the president seems determined to take the path he believes is best for the nation with little regard for the naysayers.