Esper Assures NATO US Will Consult on Any Future Troop Movements

US officials take aim at Germany as a special case after drawdown announcement

The Trump Administration’s planned drawdown of troops from Germany took NATO by surprise, and led to a lot more accusations of US unilateralism. Defense Secretary Mark Esper met with NATO officials Friday to try to reassure them that they will consult over any future troop movements.

Germany was never consulted, with German officials learning about it when it broke in the media. Trump Administration officials are presenting that as a special case because of how mad Trump has been about Germany’s military spending.

Esper rehashed Trump’s claim that Germany spending below US demands means they “owe” NATO money, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also accused Germany of not taking Russia seriously.

It’s not clear any other cuts in NATO states are considered by the US, and even the German cuts are expected to see some troops diverted to Poland, because Trump is more keen on Poland’s Conservative government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.