The U.S. withdrawal of troops from German soil is emblematic of America “paying too much” for other countries’ security, departing U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell said late Wednesday.
As Breitbart News reported, President Donald Trump has ordered the U.S. military to remove 9,500 troops from Germany as soon as possible, reducing the U.S. contribution to 25,000.
That departure significantly reduces the U.S. commitment to European defense under the NATO banner.
Grenell, who resigned his diplomatic post on June 1, told Bild Live late on Wednesday: “American taxpayers no longer feel like paying too much for the defense of other countries.”
“There will still be 25,000 soldiers in Germany, that’s no small number,” he added, according to a German translation of his remarks reported by Reuters.
The drawdown has already attracted criticism, with Germany’s special coordinator for Transatlantic ties on Monday lamenting it is “completely unacceptable” although it is hardly a surprise.
Last August Grenell forewarned Washington could withdraw some troops from Germany unless Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government answered repeated calls to boost its defense spending.
“It is actually offensive to assume that the U.S. taxpayer must continue to pay to have 50,000-plus Americans in Germany, but the Germans get to spend their surplus on domestic programs,” Grenell told the German press agency dpa.
Ambassador Grenell: "It is offensive to assume that the U.S. taxpayers will continue to pay for more than 50,000 Americans [U.S. troops] in #Germany, but the Germans get to spend their surplus on #domestic programs." #2percentby2024
— US-Botschaft Berlin (@usbotschaft) August 9, 2019
Peter Beyer told the Rheinische Post the White House left Germany in the dark before reports of the decision began to emerge.
Trump has long pressed Germany to raise defense spending and accused Berlin of being a “captive” of Russia due to its partial reliance on Russian energy.
Grenell took up his diplomatic post in Berlin in June, 2018 as Breitbart News reported.
Exclusive — Grenell: ‘Silent Majority’ Understand Governments Shouldn’t Normalise Business with Iran https://t.co/yZJ9eLgYsh
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 4, 2018
Never afraid to speak his mind or strenuously represent U.S. interests, the then-ambassador said: “There are a lot of conservatives throughout Europe who have contacted me to say they are feeling there is a resurgence going on.”
“I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders. I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left,” he added.