President Trump’s decision to remove 9,500 US troops from Germany comes under great scrutiny from the German Government. Berlin’s coorinator for transatlantic ties called the decision “completely unacceptable.” Peter Beyer made his comments to the Rheinische Post and rode the White House for not informing Germany in advance of reports in the media.
On Friday June 5th President Trump ordered the Pentagon to reduce US troop levels in Germany from 34,500 to 25,000. Discussions have been ongoing since September after German Chancellor Merkel chose to skip attending the G-7 meeting in Washington DC.
Germany has come under great scrutiny from President Trump and others who take issue with the country being the largest freeloading member of NATO. In 2014, at the NATO summit all members agreed to raise domestic defense spending to 2% of their respective gross domestic product (GDP) by 2024. Germany is, by far, the lowest contributor to defense spending among NATO members. Five years after making the pledge, Germany is nowhere near reaching that goal and admits it is not on track to achieve it. adjusting expectations to about 1.5% of GDP.
The issue of defense spending has become a rift between President Trump and Chancellor Merkel. This troops reduction erodes the ability of Germany to protect itself as it’s come to rely almost completely on US defense forces for it’s protection. Perhaps rolling it back while press the fouling nation to meet it’s own agreements.