Foreign Policy

Trump: I’m Withdrawing From Germany Because [Insert Lie Here]

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Trump shocked German officials and even American officials when he announced that he would would be withdrawing troops permanently based on Germany, but why is he supposedly doing that?

I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that this isn't based on strategic needs or some kind of realignment strategy; it's based on a lie.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Trump said we would be withdrawing because Germany is behind on their payments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Speaking to reporters, Trump accused Germany of being “delinquent” in its payments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and vowed to stick with the plan unless Berlin changed course.

So we’re protecting Germany and they’re delinquent. That doesn’t make sense. So I said, we’re going to bring down the count to 25,000 soldiers,” Trump said, adding that “they treat us very badly on trade” but providing no details.

He's right, it "doesn't make sense" because that's literally not how anything works.

No one makes payments to NATO and that includes the United States. There is no NATO bank account. Each member has their own defense budget and they contribute to a rotating force under NATO command.

This nonsense -- which Trump almost certainly knows is nonsense by now -- is why I don't think this is actually going to happen. The tell is his claim that Germany 'treats us very badly' on trade, which also isn't true but he felt the need to add that because he knows he did a dumb thing by announcing something that won't happen.

I infer that Trump's announcement was based on petty emotional retaliation, either for himself after getting snubbed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel or for former US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell who repeatedly made a horse's ass of himself while he was in Germany.

“There is sure to be significant bipartisan opposition to this move in Congress, so it is possible any actual moves are significantly delayed or even never implemented,” said Phil Gordon of the Council on Foreign Relations think tank,

“This move will further erode allies’ faith in NATO and U.S. defense guarantees,” Gordon added, saying it may also “weaken the deterrence of Russia or anyone else who might threaten a NATO member.”

The first six months of the Biden administration will probably include an actual "apology tour," and you know what? It should! We owe the world an apology for Trump.