US envoy: Germany must increase military spending and dependence on US “annoying”

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Germany’s failure to increase defense spending and its continued reliance on US forces for protection is alarming, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said on Friday.

Grenell’s comments indicate that US President Donald Trump is impatient with Germany’s failure to increase military spending to 2 percent of GDP as NATO wants.

“It is disturbing to assume that US taxpayers continue to pay more than 50,000 Americans in Germany, but Germans have the opportunity to spend their surplus on local programs,” Grenell told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The United States has more than 33,000 troops in Germany and 17,000 US civil servants to support them. Washington is also believed to have nuclear warheads in Germany.

Germany’s financial plans expect the defense budget of NATO’s second-largest member to rise to 1.37 percent of GDP next year before falling to 1.24 percent in 2023.

Eastern European countries such as Poland and Latvia raised their military spending to the target of two percent of GDP, fearing Russia after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Trump praised it and called on Germany to do the same.

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