U.S Ambassador to Germany, Richard
Richard Grenell revealed that Washington is considering the withdrawal of
troops based in Germany.
“It’s really offensive to expect US
taxpayers to continue to pay more than 50 000 Americans in Germany, but Germans
use their trade surplus for domestic purposes,” Grenell told DPA news agency.
The rift between Berlin and
Washington over Germany’s non-compliance with NATO’s 2 percent budget
allocation on defense has worsened in the past months. Although Germany plans to
significantly increase defense budget to 1.36% of GDP this year, the allocation
still fails to meet NATO’s 2% target for alliance members.
Mrs Merkel’s government has pledged
to increase defense spending to 1.5 per cent of GDP by 2024 but those promises
were undermined when Olaf Scholz, the finance minister, cut planned increases
in this year’s budget.
Germany’s refusal to participate in a
joint naval taskforce in the Strait of Hormuz and to send ground troops to
fight extremist groups and radicals of the Islamic State further dented the
ties between Berlin and Washington.
Grenell’s remarks comes after U.S
ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher expressed willingness to take in the
American troops from Germany:
“Poland meets its 2% of GDP spending
obligation towards NATO. Germany does
not. We would welcome American troops in
Germany to come to Poland.”
Grenell also mentioned that in June,
President Donald Trump had spoken with Polish President Andrzej Duda in
Washington about the possibility of moving U.S troops from Germany to
“President Trump is right and
Georgette Mosbacher is right. Numerous presidents have asked Europe’s largest
economy to pay for their own defense. This is a plea that has dragged on for
many years and many governments.”
The largest deployment of American
soldiers in Europe is in Germany, with 35,000 soldiers deployed there along
with 17,000 American civilians and 12,000 German civilians employed by the US