WASHINGTON – President Trump announced on Wednesday that he will withdraw tens of thousands of US troops from Germany – accusing the European nation of taking advantage of its administration by not paying its fair share to NATO.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda at the White House Rose Garden, Trump tore up Germany for spending billions on Russian energy while asking to protect the United States from Russia.
“We will drastically reduce Germany to about 25,000 soldiers. Actually, we were 52,000 people, but we will reduce it to 25,000. ”
Trump said that US troops would either be sent to Poland or return to the United States.
“They’re spending billions of dollars to buy Russian energy, and then we have to defend them from Russia, so it doesn’t work very well,” Trump said.
While the movement is expected to wait for weeks, the president prompted the Pentagon to reduce the number of troops in Germany to 9,500 earlier this month – condemned by both Republican Assembly members and German lawmakers.
On Wednesday, the president struck Germany because the military alliance created after the Second World War did not pay enough dues to NATO.
“You must be paying 2 percent [of GDP] and they pay a little more than 1 percent, ”he says,“ a tremendous guilt. ”
“This doesn’t really treat the US fairly. The United States is an important participant with whom we have paid more than anyone and have been with for many years ”.
“That’s why we defend Europe, but Europe also enjoys the tremendous advantages of the United States that you wouldn’t believe in trade,” he continued.
“I would think they wanted to wait after the election so they can deal with someone else than President Trump, but after the election they will only have to pay more,” he added.
President Duda said that because of the fear that Russia would be encouraged to attack Poland, Trump had lobbyed not to expel US troops entirely from Europe, and described the NATO alliance as crucial for regional security.
“The president understands European history and the facts of Europe,” Trump said.
The move to pull half of the US troops in Germany is in the midst of a thaw in Trump’s relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who decided to skip the G-7 meeting in Washington this summer.
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