Trump: Germany Owes NATO ‘Vast Sums of Money’

Demands Germany Pay US for 'Powerful' Defense

Fresh off his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Trump is riling up US-German relations, with one of his latest tweets accusing Germany of owing NATO “vast sums of money” and demanding that Germany pay the United States more for their “powerful, and very expensive” defense.

Trump had made mentions of demands for vast sums of money in his joint conference with Merkel, accusing Germany at the time of unfair trade practices, and seeking NATO members to pay back the “vast sums” spent by the US in past years.

The US has been pressuring NATO members to increase their military spending, and Germany is among those under pressure to spend at least 2% of its GDP, despite Germany already having one of the world’s top 10 priciest militaries at its current levels, and have good relations with all of its neighbors.

Despite Germany not always having the exact military spending priorities the US has sought, there does not appear to be any mechanism in NATO by which the US could force Germany to pay more, let alone force Germany to retroactively hand over “vast sums of money” to the US or NATO in general.

German Defense Minister Ursula van der Leyen said as much in her response to the Trump comments, insisting that Germany “owes nothing” to NATO, and questioning the way NATO calculates military spending in the first place, calling for a more “holistic” approach including foreign aid in the amount spent.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • dieter heymann

    Trump’s next move will be the reconstruction of the Atlantic Wall to keep the dangerous Germans in Europe. Of course the Germans will have to pay for it.

    • Schmizer

      The Atlantic Wall was more effective than France’s Maginot Line

  • Frank Discussion

    Pretty rich of the yanks considering Germany is still technically an occupied country.

    • Schmizer

      The red sox are involved too.

  • OBTUSEANGLE

    Funny how the occupied are to blame. The Palestinians need to pay more.

    • lol, EXACTLY

    • rosemerry

      The USA is asking Cambodia to pay for its destruction by the USA decades ago. No surprises this time.

      • Don

        Trump playing to his base. And his base are far from getting it and most likely won’t in time to stop him.

  • GeorgyOrwell

    …and Germany is among those under pressure to spend at least 2% of its GDP, despite Germany already having one of the world’s top 10 priciest militaries….

    TRANSLATION: increase military spending and buy from US defense contractors such as Lockeed Martin, Bechtel, Rathyon and United Technologies.

    These ‘contractors’ are then free to spend whatever money they wish under Citizen United on whatever sleazy politician who will vote to pressure NATO allies to increase military spending on the likes of Lockeed Martin, Bechtel, Rathyon and United Technologies. Do you see how this all works??

    Follow the money! Increase defense spending? Really?? Whose pockets does the taxpayer money actually end up????

    • rosemerry

      None of this is “defense”. There are no credible threats to NATO countries despite their very provocative actions eg next to Russia, which wants to have peaceful relations and has many agreements with other nations to this end.
      Surveys show that over 90% of Germany’s population want USA nuclear bombs REMOVED from German soil, and in 2010 the government passed a motion to do this, but the USA keeps pushing the pretense of “defending our allies” instead of doing something to reduce the serious risk of real confrontation.

      • Don

        Thanks for that info. I didn’t know that about 90% of the German people wanting US nukes removed. Not that I dispute it, but do you have some links to that?

        The recent Trump/Merkel meeting could maybe set Merkel to some deeper thinking on the implications of her country’s alliance with the US. Not that anything important can happen now before the impending crisis? But maybe it could?

        Trump’s bluffs at the moment seem to be concentrated first on N.Korea, then Iran, and finally Syria. The latter an affront to Russia. But even the first, all it’s going to take to get the world into the irreversible actions by the US/Nato.

        I think it’s really that bad rose. Maybe time for some deeper thoughts on the whole Trump situation?

        • rosemerry

          I can’t do the link, but it is in counterpunch.org as below

          March 17, 2017

          US Citizens to Join Protests of US Nuclear Weapons Deployed in Germany

          by John Laforge

          • Don

            Thanks rose. Found the article and also found them providing figures of 93%, 88%, and 85% of the people that want US nukes gone from Germany. Also interestinig is the list of countries that now have US nulcear weapons installed on their soil.
            We can only hope their government pays attention to the people. This is where relations between Trump and Merkel going south is so positive. On behalf of her people, she has to see the much escalated possibility of nuclear war started by Trump.

            The nuclear clock has most certainly been advanced. That is something that we on this site need to start bringing into the conversation.

  • Forget that, Donald!!

  • Don

    A possible side benefit of Trump! The ignorant bas-ard could start driving a wedge between Germany and the US!
    Or, in other words, just when Trump is being told by his generals that Nato is essential to the US and it’s maneuvering against Russia, he’s screwing up the relationship.

    Once again Jason Ditz chooses the right stock photo for the story! Ditz needs to cut himself a switch and take Raimondo out behind the woodshed for a little father and son.

  • Don

    The nuclear clock has been advanced considerably since Trump became president, but that’s now being mentioned. But Raimondo still persists in his support of the bast-ard.

    Thanks to all the people who are sending the message to Raimondo on his article. It seems all he can do is whine about not being appreciated for 2500 words.

    My apologies for not taking part in the criticism of Raimondo on his articles. I have been banned from posting there to lower the heat on him. And I suspect that there are others who have left the site who have been stopped from criticizing him too.

    • “The nuclear clock” is a propaganda device maintained by a particular organization. They moved its hands up as soon as he became president. It doesn’t particularly mean anything except that they don’t like Trump.