Why Trump’s Troop Withdrawal from Germany Is Only the Beginning

NATO is in trouble. Last week Secretary of Defense Mark Esper followed through on President Trump’s threats to withdraw forces from Germany. Esper announced twelve thousand troops would depart Germany, some remaining in Europe, mostly Belgium and Italy, and others returning to the US where they will then join rotational deployments in Eastern Europe and around the world. The announcement was condemned in Washington and caused a sense of foreboding on the other side of the Atlantic. The significance of the troop level cuts has less to do with its impact on US force posture in Europe than what it signals about the U.S. commitment to NATO, especially should Trump win a second term. If Donald Trump is reelected in November, last week’s arbitrary and uncoordinated withdrawal of U.S. forces from Germany portends a bleak future for history’s most successful alliance: Trump will pull the United States out of NATO.

The above excerpt was originally published in The National Interest. Please click here to view the full article.