A foreign nation is trying to tell U.S. President Donald Trump what he can and cannot do with American military troops. It is very unlikely he will listen to them. Citing U.S. high level U.S. government defense officials, The Wall Street Journal first broke the news on Friday that Trump has ordered the Pentagon to reduce the 34,500 American service members in Germany by approximately 9,500 troops. Trump’s reported decision to pull the troops is “completely unacceptable,” said Peter Beyer, Germany’s coordinator for transatlantic ties.

Beyer told the Rheinische Post that the White House did not inform Germany in advance before reports of the decision began to emerge. “This is completely unacceptable, especially since nobody in Washington thought about informing its NATO ally Germany in advance,” said Beyer, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political party. What kind of ally dictates to another ally what they can do with their own troops?

As a young soldier I served with U.S. Army Intelligence in Germany in the early 1980s. I enjoyed working with the German Army and grew very fond of the country and its history, culture, and beauty. But in some Germans there still was just under the surface that infamous Hunnish arrogance and obstinance that drove the world into two global martial conflagrations. For over seventy years the U.S. has spent trillions of tax dollars keeping the Germans safe from the Soviets, then shouldering a large part of the European economic giant’s national security burden. President Trump, given the lack of a credible threat to Germany at the present time, has stopped the automatic defense-related ATM withdrawal Germany makes at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. As indeed he should.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also has not helped her case with the U.S. or the president by taking every opportunity to snub the president or to criticize him on the world stage. Oh, the Germans and the Euros in general love weak presidents like Barack Obama, as they can run roughshod over them. But let an individual like Trump, who puts America’s interests first, come to power as U.S. chief executive and most of the Euros will bay, moan, and whine like ingrates as he actually does what’s right for America, not what is convenient and expeditious for the Euros.

Following Trump’s apparent decision, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a media interview that he regretted the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany, describing Berlin’s relationship with the United States as “complicated.” You might put it that way, Heiko. Per American interests, the relationship could be better described as “dysfunctional.”

A U.S. senior official also told media that internal U.S. discussions on this matter have been ongoing since September and that the move is not in retaliation for the German chancellor’s decision not to attend the upcoming G-7 meeting in Washington. At least, that is the official U.S. line. But as Merkel must know, this snub did not go over well with the U.S. commander-in-chief.

Johann Wadephul, the deputy chairman of Merkel’s parliamentary caucus, said the U.S.’s decision to draw down troops “shows once again that the Trump administration is neglecting basic leadership tasks.” Cute statement, Boche, but not exactly the thing that will keep U.S. troops in Germany.