At the NATO summit to be held on July 11-12 in Brussels, the US will threaten to withdraw the 35,000 American troops from NATO bases in Germany if Berlin refuses to increase its military budget, a source has revealed.
This diplomatic source in Brussels said that US President Donald Trump is expected to demand from the allies must make an obligatory increase in military spending to 2 percent of GDP by the middle of 2020.
“If Berlin refuses to increase defense expenditures according to the requirement, the US can threaten Germany with the withdrawal of 35,000 soldiers from NATO military bases in the territory of the country,” said the source.
Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that in the next ten years Germany will increase defense spending to 2% of GDP, which is mandatory for NATO member countries and was agreed at the summit in 2014 in Bucharest.
According to Merkel, in 2019 the country will increase the military budget to 1.34% of GDP and, by 2025, to 1.5%.
Donald Trump has repeatedly called on alliance partners to implement the agreements reached in Bucharest, otherwise it could reduce US involvement in common security programs in the alliance countries.
According to the Washington Post , the Pentagon is analyzing the cost and consequences of the large-scale withdrawal and transfer of troop displaced in Germany amid growing tensions between Trump and Merkel.
According to media reports, there are currently 60,000 US troops stationed in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy.
These are all stationed to supposedly ward off a Russian aggression in Europe. This is an irrational fear as Russia has no desire to cause a war with its continental neighbors and has rather called for deescalation and an increase in ties to alleviate tensions. Many experts has questioned the reasoning for the existence of NATO that was originally established to challenge the Soviet Union during the Cold War.