President Donald Trump has been called the most libertarian president since Calvin Coolidge by right-wing pundits, but by the time he is done, he may even upstage 'Silent Cal.' He even channeled Ron Paul – the former Texas Congressman who put libertarianism on the map – over the weekend when he reportedly cried foul over US troop totals in Germany.
President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been at odds since Trump became President. The tensions have reached a fever pitch recently, after Trump hilariously threw Starburst candies at the woman during the recent G7 summit. Now, Trump is targeting the immense military presence that the US provides to Germany at the expense of the American taxpayer.
After Trump became aware that approximately 35,000 US troops were still stationed in Germany, he immediately ordered the Pentagon to conduct a study estimating the impact of a large-scale troop withdrawal from the country. The Washington Post reports that European officials are panicked by this news, and hope that it is only a ploy to increase bargaining leverage for the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels.
"What [the Trump administration has] been doing isn't pretty, it's aggressive, but nothing else has gotten the attention of our trading partners who have largely refused to respond to U.S. complaints for years," said Michael Wessel, former member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, to Axios.
Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon downplayed the news and implied that the Pentagon review is just a routine procedure.
"The Pentagon regularly reviews force posture and performs cost-benefit analyses," he said. "This is nothing new. Germany is host to the largest U.S. force presence in Europe — we remain deeply rooted in the common values and strong relationships between our countries. We remain fully committed to our NATO ally and the NATO alliance."