According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, German officials are "unimpressed" by Donald Trump's threat to pull U.S. military troops out of their country because he doesn't believe the Germans pay their fair share in military spending.
As the report notes, officials in the country are well aware that the American president is facing ouster from the Oval Office and that his likely successor, former Vice President Joe Biden, will either leave the troops in place and send them back after he is inaugurated.
According to the report, some German officials are publicly reacting to Trump's claim that “Until they pay, we’re removing our soldiers.”
"So far, Germany is unimpressed. Few politicians have commented on the move and military experts have said the punishment would mainly undermine the U.S. military’s ability to conduct operations in Africa and the Middle East," the WSJ reports of the president plan to pull out 9,500 troops from Germany and cap the total stationed there at 25,000.
While the announcement came as a surprise to both the German government and the America command in the country, many in Germany are not concerned because there is some doubt the troops will be pulled before the November election.
"After Richard Grenell, then U.S. ambassador to Germany, first floated the notion of a pullout last year, a senior German official said the chancellor [Angela Merkel] would accept it and had little hope that relations with the U.S. administration would improve as long as Mr. Trump was in office," the reports states before adding "But Mr. Trump’s waning support in polls is fueling hope in Berlin that he might lose the coming election. German military experts doubt that the pullout can be organized before the election. Joe Biden, Mr. Trump’s Democratic challenger, has said he wouldn’t remove troops from Germany if he were elected president in November."
According to retired brigadier general Erich Vad who serves as a military adviser to Merkel, the president's proposal hurts Americans more than Germans.
“This will have no real effects on the security of Germany; what the Americans have here is a hub that serves the logistical support of their presence in the region and beyond,” Vad explained.
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