The Trump administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other nation hosting US troops pay the full price of US soldiers deployed on their soil – plus 50% or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to multiple reports in US media citin various anonymous officials and ‘informed sources’.
According to repots, in some cases, nations hosting US troops could be asked to pay 5 to 6 times as much as they do now under the “Cost Plus 50” formula.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, just stated that because of me NATO has been able to raise far more money than ever before from its members after many years of decline. It’s called burden sharing. Also, more united. Dems & Fake News like to portray the opposite!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2019
“Trump has championed the idea for months. His insistence on it almost derailed recent talks with South Korea over the status of 28,000 US troops in the country when he overruled his negotiators with a note to National Security Advisor John Bolton saying, “We want cost plus 50.”
The president’s team sees the move as one way to prod Nato partners into accelerating increases in defence spending – an issue Trump has hammered allies about since taking office. While Trump claims his pressure has led to billions of dollars more in allied defence spending, he’s chafed at what he sees as the slow pace of increases.
“Wealthy, wealthy countries that we’re protecting are all under notice,” Trump said in a speech at the Pentagon on Jan 17. “We cannot be the fools for others.”
Officials caution that the idea is one of many under consideration as the US presses allies to pay more, and it may be toned down. Yet even at this early stage, it has sent shock waves through the departments of Defence and State, where officials fear it will be an especially large affront to stalwart US allies in Asia and Europe already questioning the depth of Trump’s commitment to them,” The Straits Times reported on the issue.
So far, Trump’s idea to raise funds from US allies have faced a large wave of criticism in the mainstream media. The common argument is that this move would demonstrate a lack of “commitment” to US allies in Europe and Asia. On the other hand, this move seems logical in the framework of the Trump-delcared strategy to strengthen the US national industry, including the military industrial complex. The Trump administration is not going to abandon US military infrastructure around the world, but it does not want to pay for it as much as it does.
From the European perspective, all EU nations, which have been for a long time exploiting the US military presence as a political tool to justiy a low-scale military spending, this could be seen as an “unfriendly” move. They get used to the fact that the US takes a military spending burden off their back thus buying their loyality.
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