Following a roundtable on "Fighting for America's Seniors," the US president announced that the US troop deployment in Germany would decrease to 25,000 troops, according to Reuters.
“Germany as you know is...delinquent in their payments to NATO,” Trump argued on June 15, claiming Germany owes NATO billions of dollars. "Why should we be doing what we’re doing if they don’t pay?”
CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale noted that the so-called debt refers to the NATO target which urges every member to spend "2% of [its] GDP on defense."
Again: Germany doesn't literally "owe" NATO money. NATO *target* is that every member spends 2% of GDP on defense. That isn't a payment to NATO. And it's not binding: if a country is under 2% - Germany was at an est. 1.4% in 2019 - they don't have debt. https://t.co/7mwrRqwMuv— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) June 15, 2020
Furthermore, the NATO target agreement has a 2024 deadline.
German Ambassador to the US Emily Haber confirmed on Monday that the Pentagon has received orders to carry out the planned reduction of US troops in Germany, according to Reuters.
This followed the issuance of a letter to Trump from 22 Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee who opposed such a move.
“The threats posed by Russia have not lessened, and we believe that signs of a weakened U.S. commitment to NATO will encourage further Russian aggression and opportunism,” Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) said in the lawmakers' open letter to the US president.