Skip to comments.Report: Trump wants Germany, Japan and others to pay full cost plus a premium for US troops
Posted on 03/10/2019 7:12:48 PM PDT by Steve Schulin
[photo caption] M1A2 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles converge on a smoke signal during a live-fire exercise at Grafenwoehr, Germany, in March. President Trump is pushing a plan that demands allies pick up the full cost of hosting U.S. troops in their countries, plus a 50 percent premium for American protection, according to a news report. [photo credit; MARTIN EGNASH/STARS AND STRIPES]
STUTTGART, Germany President Donald Trump is pushing a plan that demands allies pick up the full cost of hosting U.S. troops in their countries, plus a 50 percent premium for the privilege of American protection, according to a news report.
Called Cost Plus 50, the plan would cost five or six times more for countries like Germany, Japan and South Korea, Bloomberg news reported Friday.
Trump has been championing the idea for months, Bloomberg reported, citing about a dozen unnamed administration officials. Trump even tested the idea during recent negotiations over a cost sharing agreement with South Korea, which was on the brink of collapse before a deal was finally reached in February.
We want cost plus 50, Trump demanded at one point during the talks, as quoted by the media organization.
While the U.S. eventually backed off the demand, the idea hasnt gone away and could be used to pressure allies to increase their own defense budgets. For two years, Trump has railed against allies, especially in Europe, who Trump has described as security free riders unwilling to pay for their own defense.
[photo caption] A C-17 Globemaster III takes off from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. President Trump is pushing a plan that would demand allies like Germany and Japan pick up the full cost of hosting U.S. troops in their countries, plus a 50 percent premium for American protection, according to a news report. [photo credit: MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES]
It isnt clear how close the Cost Plus 50 idea is to becoming official U.S. policy. Bloomberg reported that Trumps advisers have pushed back against the idea. But the presidents interest in the proposal has nonetheless sent shock waves through the departments of Defense and State, it reported.
The plan would likely face fierce resistance from U.S. allies, especially Germany, which hosts about 32,000 American troops. Unlike South Korea, which relies on a large military presence as a line of protection against the north, the American forces in Germany dont serve as territorial guardians.
While there were some 300,000 troops in Europe during the Cold War, there are about 70,000 in total on the Continent today. The contingent in Germany consists mostly of enabling forces and headquarters. The Army has just one infantry brigade in the country.
While allies like Japan see the U.S. military presence as a bulwark to an expansionist China, Germany generally doesnt see an immediate threat to its own security. As such, Berlin is likely to balk at demands to pay all the costs for U.S. bases, which are widely viewed domestically as serving Washingtons foreign policy interests. For example, Ramstein Air Base the largest in Germany has been used as a vital staging post for the U.S. military interventions in Iraq and Libya, which Berlin either opposed or did not participate in.
And Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the largest overseas military hospital in the world, is a stopping point for troops injured in Afghanistan and other missions abroad. It offers no direct benefit to Germanys security. Similarly, Marines crisis response forces in Spain and Italy are tasked with protecting U.S. interests and diplomatic compounds in Africa on short notice rather than Europes territorial defense. Its unclear whether Italy or Spain would feel obliged to pony up more for their presence.
Still, with a more assertive Russia, allies in Europe have been eager for more U.S. forces, especially along NATOs eastern flank, which could give the Trump administration leverage. Poland has offered $2 billion to establish a permanent U.S. base in its country.
Germany spends about $1 billion or roughly 20 percent of the cost of hosting U.S. troops at various installations in the country, according to Rand Corporation data. But Germanys payments for U.S. troops are almost entirely in kind the provision of services or facilities.
Bloomberg reported the White House was also considering a measure to ease the financial burden a discount for countries whose policies were in line with Washingtons.
That could be problematic for Germany, which has resisted demands from Trump to ramp up defense expenditures. By 2024, all NATO allies are expected to dedicate 2 percent of GDP to military matters. While the majority of alliance members are on track to reach the spending target, Berlin has balked at the idea and is expected to fall well short of the benchmark.
Yes, their freedom was not free, American blood was spilled for it. It is about time they pay for it.
He’ll drop the plus 50....but we’ll get full cost. Huge chunk. Remember, our troops feed their economy.
Trump has been championing the idea for months, Bloomberg reportedGefälschte nachrichten.
Trump would have made a great head of one of the 5 New York families :)
I love so many things he does.
And it makes sense.
Bodyguards and security guards don’t work for free.
We’re defending ENTIRE NATIONS.
It's about time we bring our troops home and these countries pay for their military needs and use their own citizens to fill their military needs
It's not a real good idea that our soldiers are filling mercenary roles in some situations. Besides that, in many situations we're involved in fighting wars our allies' wars, not our own.
It's interesting that the dems are more interested in not defending our borders than they are in cutting back on warmongering overseas.
I couldn’t have put it any better than you.
Woo hoo! I didn’t think I could love this President even more. Way to go President Donald J. Trump! Awesome move and I applaud you for it!
Our primary value to Europe is the nuclear shield we provide them. We spent hundreds of billions to develop nuclear warfare tech and the 2% of GDP we are pressing them to contribute to NATO is chump change next to the value of the shield we provide. Trump would not be out of line telling the EU if they want to retain that protection the EU must pay the US directly 2% annually of their collective GDP to reimburse of for the cost. We are 21 trillion in debt and can no longer afford them protection gratis.
You are correct. They owe us.
I think these countries should be defending themselves. Asking them to kick in more money at a time when they’re being over run my Muslim hordes, well I don’t know how much they’d have left to kick in.
Shut it down. Work out a deal with Israel and Egypt to place a base in Sinai as a staging post for the U.S. military in the region. We already provide aid to Egypt and Israel and they would welcome our presence. Germany has not been acting as a friend lately.
What’s the point of troops in Germany? It’s obvious they just let anybody walk on in.
Demand payment be made in the severed heads of our enemies!
Plus 40 yrs back pay that is overdue with interest.
> Whats the point of troops in Germany?
For when we inevitably need to use them against the Germans again.
A way to make money, or a good way for countries to tell us to get out. A win-win as far as I’m concerned.
Anytime I ever doubt Donald J. Trump, a story like this comes along. Sweet Jesus, YES!
What a great concept.
Our support means MORE to them, than to us... in most cases. Where it does, they should pay MORE than us. Where it doesn’t, WE should pay more.
Let’s start figuring out which are which.
President Trump is just day dreaming here. The Germans will say FU we aren’t paying and they will be backed up by the K street funded chickenhawk neocons in Congress. Moving Ramstein ain’t happening.
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