Trump dropped the Pentagon by 9,500 the number of US troops deployed in Germany last week, reducing the quarter of the country’s forces.
A senior German official said this was “unacceptable” – a move that could affect the long-running relationship between NATO allies.
“This is particularly unacceptable, especially since no one in Washington is considering informing NATO ally Germany,” Peter Beyer, ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, told the newspaper Rheinische Post. Reuters.
Germany’s Transatlantic Cooperation Coordinator Beyer told the DPA news agency that “the German-US relationship can be seriously affected by such a decision of the US president.”
He added to the Wall Street Journal that internal discussions have been ongoing since September, adding that the withdrawal of troops has nothing to do with Merkel’s decision not to attend the G-7 meeting in Washington this summer.
Merkel’s government said on Monday that it has not yet heard of an official word from Washington.
“As of this hour, there is no official confirmation by the relevant authorities in the United States whether these plans will actually be implemented,” Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told reporters in Berlin. Bloomberg News. “We are only aware of the information in the press.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas described the relationship between Berlin and Washington as “complicated”.
“We appreciate cooperation with the US armed forces that have been growing for decades. Both countries have interests, ”Maas said in a German newspaper, Bild.
“We are close partners of the transatlantic alliance. But this is complicated, ”he said.
Trump criticized NATO members for not paying fair defense shares, and Germany is not expected to reach the level of spending by 2031.
German officials voiced concerns that the abolition of US troops could undermine NATO and pose a security risk on the continent.
At the NATO meeting with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in July 2018, however, Trump questioned why the United States was involved in an energy deal with Russia while apparently protecting Germany from Russia.
“I think it’s very sad that Germany has a big oil and gas deal with Russia, which you need to protect against Russia, and that Germany goes to Russia and pays billions and billions of dollars a year.” Said Trump, Stoltenberg. “So we protect Germany, we protect France, we protect all these countries. And then many countries go out and sign a pipeline deal, in which Russia pays billions of dollars to the safe. I think this is very inappropriate. “
“But Germany is completely controlled by Russia because they will get 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline,” said Trump.
Meanwhile, Poland hopes that some of the withdrawal of US troops from Germany will be reassigned there.
“As a result of the many talks we have today … I hope that some of the troops in Germany that have been abolished by the United States … will actually come to Poland,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told the private radio RMF24. Reuters reported. “The decision is now on the US side.”