National Security

Romney wants to cap Trump’s reduction of troops in Germany, usurp power from the Commander-in-chief

Romney wants power in both defense and foreign policy areas.

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The Cold War has been over for almost thirty years. Russia is hemmed in on all sides. If Russia ever made a move against Western Europe she’d have to go through American forces in Poland first. But the bitter hatred that Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) has for President Donald Trump recognizes none of those facts. Romney, who could not get elected to the presidency on his own accord, on Monday led other senators in an attempt to usurp the legitimate constitutional powers of the executive branch in military and foreign affairs.

In early June, President Trump ordered the Pentagon to remove 9,500 troops from Germany by September, reflecting growing unease between Washington and Berlin over military spending, German insistence on completing the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will channel Russian gas directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea, and many other issues. Trump would also cap the number of American troops in Germany at any one time at 25,000. Currently, overall troop levels can rise to as high as 52,000 as units rotate in and out or take part in training exercises. Trump made this move out of the administration’s long frustration with German policy, especially the nation’s low level of military spending.

Unveiled Monday by Romney, the dangerous proposal would stop the Trump administration from reducing the number of American troops in Germany to below 34,500, the current number stationed there. That is unless the Pentagon certifies to Congress that doing so would not negatively impact European alliances or NATO. That stricture on the president’s powers as commander-in-chief is not only unconstitutional, but put the interests of European nations, nations that we have been protecting to the tune of trillions of dollars for over seventy years, over U.S. interests. It continues to let the Germans and the French get a free defense ride on the backs of U.S. taxpayers while the Euros fail to meet the NATO 2% GDP requirement.

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Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell told the German press this week, “It is actually offensive to assume that the U.S. taxpayer must continue to pay to have 50,000-plus Americans in Germany, but the Germans get to spend their surplus on domestic programs.”

The Romney-led unwise measure would also require the defense secretary to ensure that drawing down troop strength would not harm ongoing operations, that it would not impact military families, and that the Pentagon has consulted with allies including Germany and NATO. No word from Romney on how (again after seventy years and trillions of dollars spent) taking troops out of a wealthy nation that takes advantage of America in trade would impact U.S. national security or American taxpayers one way or the other.

“The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany would be a gift to Russia, and that’s the last thing we should be doing,” said Romney, using the Democrat talking point that the Trump administration is somehow beholden to Russia. Romney is doing the work of Germany, not of America. His bitter personal enmity towards the president is putting U.S. national security at risk.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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