Germany spends nearly €1B for costs linked to US troops
Jul 06, 2020 - 08:54 PM
The government spent €982.4 million on US troops in Germany, of which €648 million went into construction work at US military bases, the DPA news agency said, citing a Finance Ministry statement.
The communique was issued in response to an inquiry by Brigitte Freihold, an opposition parliamentarian of The Left, a radical leftist party.
There are almost 35,000 US soldiers based in Germany.
Last month, US President Donald Trump announced that he will withdraw 9,500 of them, citing Germany’s spending too little on military defense.
Although the German government has increased the defense budget drastically, it still misses the NATO target of 2% of the gross domestic product.
“Germany has been in default for years and owes NATO billions of dollars, and they have to pay that,” Trump said when the troop withdrawal was announced.
He also pointed out that the stationing of US troops in Germany caused “huge costs” for the US, while Germany benefited from them economically.
“These are well-paid soldiers. They live in Germany. They spend a lot of their money in Germany,” Trump added.
A longtime member of the NATO military pact, Germany hosts more than half of all US soldiers stationed in Europe.
Germany plays a crucial for US global military operations as it also hosts US Africa Command, major military hospitals and training facilities.