European Leaders 'Scared to Death' Trump Will Pull US Troops

Monday, 09 Jul, 2018

In the past few weeks, Trump has sent sharply worded letters to the leaders of several European countries, including Germany, Italy and Norway, as well as to Canada, warning that the United States was losing patience.

U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison, left, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrive for a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels last month.

According to Pew Research Data, more than 60,000 USA troops are now stationed in Europe, including 35,000 in Germany, 12,000 in Italy, 8,500 in Britain, and 3,300 in Spain, with thousands more rotating into other European countries as needed.

"NATO really is making progress, and they are doing it really at President Trump's insistence", Ms. Hutchison said on "Fox News Sunday".

"What people are anxious about this trip is he'll have equally hard interactions with his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counterparts", including Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said James Goldgeier, a visiting senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and professor at American University, who is an expert in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and security alliances.

Trump directly addressed German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the rally in the USA state of Montana, saying: "You know, Angela.we are protecting you and it means a lot more to you.because I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you". Separately, doubts about Trump's commitment to European security has pushed EU leaders to boost defense cooperation.

"Of course, we want to have a responsible relationship with Russia", Merkel added. "We can do that through the [World Trade Organization]. Change is Coming!" Trump said on Twitter in June in posts that specifically called out Germany. It was "immature" to link the two topics, Ursula von der Leyen said.

"I'll tell NATO: 'You've got to start paying your bills, '" Trump pledged at a rally last week in Montana in which he bemoaned that Americans were "the schmucks that are paying for the whole thing". Roy Blunt (R-MO) cautioned that President Donald Trump should remember Russian President Vladimir Putin is not his friend. "That's the reason why we will continue to have talks in the NATO-Russia Council". "And there is no - there's no light between any of our allies on that very important issue", said Hutchison.

The protest on Saturday preceded the anti-NATO conference on Sunday, which will see dozens of activists and organizations from all over the word coming to Brussels, Iraklis Tsavdaridis, executive secretary of the World Peace Council (WPC), a self-described "anti-imperialist" worldwide organization promoting diversity and universal disarmament, told RT.