“We don’t want to be responsible anymore.” Well, President Trump, you’ve accomplished your mission … few consider America responsible as long as you remain in office.
Donald Trump said, “we don’t want to be responsible anymore” to explain why he’s pulling one-third of U.S. troops — about 12,000 of roughly 36,000 troops — out of Germany. He said Germany hasn’t lived up to its financial commitment to NATO; therefore, he’s cutting our troop presence.
U.S. troops are stationed in Germany and other NATO countries as a forward presence to deter Russian aggression, which is a key strategic interest of the United States … or at least it was until January 20, 2017. Trump acts like our troops are mall cops, and if store owners aren’t ponying up enough to suit him, he’ll pull his rent-a-guards out of the mall and put it at risk in order to shake down the store owners. Whether it’s through ignorance, indifference or to appease his pal Putin, Trump’s actions are feckless and reckless.
At any given point in time, about 1 in 15 of America’s 1.3 million active duty troops are overseas. We have troops in about 150 countries. There are just a few troops in many countries, often at our embassies, and tens of thousands in others where a large forward presence supports our strategic interests. I’m a firm believer in fiscal responsibility and I’ve spent most of my adult life involved in military and national security matters. I understand the importance of striking a reasonable balance between spending and security. We need to continually assess where we deploy our military assets and increase or decrease them as appropriate at the time and consistent with our strategic interests. But arbitrarily yanking troops out of Germany to poke them for not paying what Trump believes they owe isn’t just foolish, it’s dangerous.
Our troops deserve a Commander-in-Chief they can trust. America deserves a President who puts America’s national security first. The world deserves an America that is responsible.
We all deserve better than Donald Trump.