Germany Spent Over $1B to Cover Costs Linked to US Troops

Foreign Affairs


Berlin. The German government has paid more than $1 billion over the past decade to cover costs related to the stationing of US troops in Germany, according to the finance ministry in Berlin.

The ministry provided the figures in reply to a query from opposition Left Party lawmaker Brigitte Freihold.

The German government paid a total of €982.4 million ($1.1 billion) between 2010 and 2019, said the finance ministry. Of that, €648.5 million went into construction work.

Last month, US President Donald Trump said that he is ordering a major reduction in troop strength in Germany, from around 34,500 personnel down to 25,000.

Germany is a hub for US operations in the Middle East and Africa.

Germany wasn’t notified of the move, which came after Trump branded the NATO ally “delinquent” for failing to pay enough for its own defence, by not meeting a goal set in 2014 for members to halt budget cuts and move toward spending at least 2 per cent of gross national product on defence by 2024. Trump has stressed that the German economy benefits from spending by the US troops based there.

According to NATO figures, Germany is spending about 1.38 per cent of GDP on its defence budget. Berlin aims to hit 1.5 per cent by 2024 and insists that this level of spending allows it to meet NATO’s defence planning goals. The US — at around 3.4 per cent of GDP — spends more on defence than all 29 other allies combined.

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