Germany Slams Trump's Claim That It Owes "Vast Sums" To NATO And The U.S.

Tyler Durden's picture

The pleasantries, lack of handshake between Trump and Merkel notwithstanding, are officially over.

One day after Trump returned to his favorite medium to slam Germany for abusing NATO's funding scheme, and US defense spending generosity, accusing Germany of owing "vast sums" of money to both NATO and the US, Germany has struck back. As a reminder, this is what Trump tweeted on Saturday morning:

Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!

That in turn, was followed on Sunday morning by a statement by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen in which she responded to Trump, rejecting the US president's claim: "There is no debit account at NATO," von der Leyen said in a statement, adding that it was wrong to link the alliance's target for members to spend 2 percent of their economic output on defense by 2024 solely to NATO.

German Defense minister Ursula von der Leyen

"Defense spending also goes into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against IS terrorism," von der Leyen said. The defense minister added that everyone wanted the burden to be shared fairly and for that to happen it was necessary to have a "modern security concept" that included a modern NATO but also a European defense union and investment in the United Nations.

Before taking office, Trump suggested that the U.S. might not come to the defense of allies who didn’t meet the 2 percent spending goal, and said the coalition doesn’t always best serve American interests. But U.S. officials have publicly praised the alliance since Trump took office, and Merkel is among European leaders who have outlined steps to boost defense spending to the target level.

To be sure, Trump wasn't the first U.S. leader to complain that most NATO nations, including Germany, weren’t meeting the alliance’s goal that members spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense. Germany spends about 1.2% currently.

In fact, none other than President Barack Obama in 2016 said in an interview with The Atlantic about his foreign policy doctrine that “free riders aggravate me.” Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s foreign minister, said a few weeks ago said that meeting the 2 percent goal is “unrealistic,” although that’s a much lower percentage than the U.S. spends on defense.

The exchange of barbs took place shortly after Friday’s visit by Merkel, postponed from earlier in the week by a snowstorm, which was a day of tense cordiality and sometimes awkward body language. Trump was unresponsive when Merkel leaned in for a handshake in the Oval Office at the request of photographers. There were few public attempts at the jocularity leaders often use to leaven such encounters, except for a barbed reference Trump made that they had “in common, perhaps” the experience of surveillance by U.S. intelligence.

As Bloomberg adds, the visit was a test of Trump’s foreign policy vision and represented Trump's first face-to-face talks with a veteran German leader whom he frequently maligned on the campaign trail, and whose free-trade, open-border politics stand in marked contrast to Trump’s nationalistic rhetoric. “He’s been president less than two months; she has been chancellor more than 10 years,” said Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. “She has all this experience. She’s the most important leader in Europe. Some would say she’s the most important leader in the world right now.”

Trump was infuriated at a German reporter’s question about his accusations that Obama had placed him under surveillance before jokingly referning a disclosure that emerged as a result of the Snowden revelations that president Obama was intercepting Merkel’s mobile phone communications. Turning to Merkel, he joked, “At least we both have something in common, perhaps.”

Merkel didn’t smile.

Merkel has been looking to Trump to ease concerns within Europe that the U.S. could abandon efforts to pressure Moscow into changing course. So far it remains unclear just what Trump's latest diplomatic track is vis-a-vis the Kremlin following a media barrage that his aides have had undisclosed relations with Russia. This week there is a hearing on Russian "hacking" of the US elections, where Trump's ties to Moscow will be a prominent fixture of discussion.

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MagicHandPuppet's picture

Pay up, schnitzel-face!

Manthong's picture

..pull all the bases out and see how they squeal.

BigCumulusClouds's picture

I am sure most Germans would be happy with that.

hope_talk's picture
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Manthong's picture

My wife and daughters make over $50k a month in the back room of the neighborhood bar.

The two faggot sons make more than that at the flame joint’

To learn how visit www f me anywhere anyhow dot com,

BaBaBouy's picture

Just Build A Couple Of DE tRUMP Hotels And We'll Call It Even ~

Quantum Bunk's picture




Erek's picture

Since when do da slaves hafta pay de Massa fo da upkeep?

MagicHandPuppet's picture

A better path would be to exit NATO and abandon most (if not all) of the one thousand or whatever military bases around the world.  Rather, focus simply on protecting our borders, the navy and anti-missile/anti-aircraft technology, etc.

Alas, that's simply not going to happen.  In the meantime, the schnitzel-faces (present company excluded... if you're German and reading this, chances are you anti-merkel and I feel your pain) need to pay up before they are successful at destroying their own culture and continent in order to protect the feelings of the moozy invaders who will soon succeed in taking them over.  And, we all know we won't get paid back from their new moozy overlords.

ne-tiger's picture

Maybe USSA's spending to much on killing and corruption?

Killdo's picture

Greece pays more than 2%. They obviously have too much money?

gunzeon's picture
  • It's the subs the Germans foisted on them, billions++ I believe
FreddieX's picture

Over much of the last decade, Greece – which has a population of 11 million people – has been one of the top five arms importers in the world. Most of the vastly expensive weapons, including submarines, tanks and combat aircraft, were made in Germany, France and the US.

The arms purchases were beyond Greece's capacity to absorb, even before the financial crisis struck in 2009. Several hundred Leopard battle tanks were bought from Germany, but there was no money to pay for ammunition for their guns. Even in 2010, when the extent of the financial disaster was apparent, Greece bought 223 howitzers and a submarine from Germany at a cost of €403m.
"It is easily forgotten when Greece is criticised that there has been not very subtle pressure from France to buy six frigates," says Thanos Dokos, the director general of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy.

He adds that Greece was unwise to be the first purchaser of new weapons systems, such as German submarines, that still had technical glitches.

There is now a serious disparity between the limited resources of the Greek state and its very expensive weapons.

Simos Kedikoglou, an MP of the New Democracy party, says that "pilots of F-16 [combat aircraft] are paid €1,200-a-month salary while they fly aircraft worth €60-70 million."

Exercises are now being cancelled to save small sums of money.
The justification for Greece's large army – 156,000 men compared to 250,000 in the German army – is the perceived threat from Turkey, which requires the Greeks to keep some form of military parity with a nation with seven times as many people.
This repeated demand for money, which has become the common refrain coming from all the officials of the Trump administration including Vice-President Pence, Defense Secretary Mattis and Secretary of State Tillerson, and not just Donald Trump himself, is making NATO appear less and less like an alliance based on common values and interests, and more and more like a protection racket.

Perhaps that in truth is what NATO has been all along. The Germans and the US’s other NATO allies do not however like to have it spelled out quite so frankly.
The trouble with using this sort of coded language is that whilst someone like Obama or indeed Putin would have no difficulty understanding it, it is highly doubtful that Donald Trump – a man not known for doing subtlety – either does or can be bothered to. The result is that by continuing to use such coded language in Trump’s presence Merkel – instead of buying herself political space as she intends – is simply highlighting the difference between herself and Trump.

In truth what this exchange actually does is show how the coming of Donald Trump has made Merkel, with her use of coded language, her intricate policies, and her indirect approach to problems, look out of date and out of touch.
These comments are both nervous and empty. They give the impression of Merkel struggling to come up with something meaningful to say. That is one reason why they range so freely and so aimlessly from Africa to Afghanistan to Syria and to Libya in a few short platitudinous sentences. They contain no definite commitments because Germany is in no position to make any.

auricle's picture

I hope the ultimate goal of Trump's pay up plan is knowing they won't so he can turn around and say NATO is a bad deal for the US and have it disbanded. 

Chief Wonder Bread's picture

People don't normally take in the big picture. W/O the yuge spending on NATO and the MIC, the US dollar collapses. When that happens - and it will with just modest pullbacks in spending, not even drastic cutbacks - the international finance system collapses.

That's going to have enormous consequences for life in the US (not to mention worldwide).

I'm okay with that but sometimes I wonder if I really am okay with that and all it means...

TheMeatTrapper's picture

Finally someone gets it. If Trump disbanded NATO unilaterally the MIC would have him killed. This way he gets to say he's all for NATO but they gotta pay their fair share. We all know they won't and so over time he'll have an excuse to gradually reduce and finally exit NATO. 

Justin Case's picture

It's all empire building at the tax payers cost and no benefit what so ever. All that wealth generated by woars goes to the top of the food chain. Tax payers foot the bill and care for the wounded and bury their dead, while the MIC develops the next emergency narrative as a threat to merica.


So it looks like pulling out of NATO would increase the amount of our GDP by 3%? What are we waiting for?

shovelhead's picture

Buying junk bonds don't count.

rockstone's picture

Did you really think most of us here didn't already know that?

You're way out of your element here. Go back to The Blaze.

Manthong's picture

“pull all the bases out and see how they squeal.”

“I am sure most Germans would be happy with that.”

A shocker for you…

Most folks have no clue how much the US presence is worth to DE.

It is a freaking huge subsidy for the wealthiest country in the EU.

847328_3527's picture

Anyone else notice the finance minister, Ursala von Deadbeathopper was wearing her "Do Not Rape Me" bright red bracelet?

Manthong's picture

heh.. heh...

I would not touch her with your pole.

yogibear's picture

Trump needs to pull the US bases and stop funding NATO. Fuck the EU and Germany.

Manthong's picture

..the SeC/MIC will have a real big problem with that.

Most folks have absolutely no idea how many assets the US has in Herr Merkels cuntry.

Quantum Bunk's picture

EU has been paying all alonmg. 1-3rd biggest holder of US treasury trash

The Euro went from .80 to 1.50 and German exports soared

BobEore's picture

Going to be embarrassing for several here, in a couple of years when Germany has been pushed into the orbit of a Russia dying for the technological prowess and investment capital of the Krauts...

pushed by a Srael dying for a weakened EU, broke up NATO and the imposed need for a 'nuclear umbrella' which arrives when USA leaves. A well thought-out 'full spectrum' package which was visible from last spring in it's outlines, and tangible in it's execution with the beginning of the TRUMP DECEPTION element.

And now we are knee deep in it. An isolationist POTUS tasked by his controllers with breaking the ties between Anglos and Continentals. An equally puppetized madmen shouting imprecations from the Bosphorus side, tellng Turks to 'claim a stake in your new homeland!' As Europe begins to fracture under the impossible need for a unified response to all this,

the phony conflict with Iran gets deep-sixed, in favor of a commerical alliance of gas n oil states ready and able to impose monopoly upon divided Europe's energy needs, transiting Leviathan, Gulf, and Russkie supplies  thru their NATO-neutralized node Turkey, commericial relations between the two sides of the Atlantic now so frigid that cheaper US LPG won't even be a discussion point. Russia gets Germany's alliance via the usual string pulling of the tel aviv type, in return for standing down from the squabble with Iran, forcing the Persians to accept the 'shitty deal' junior partnership as dictated. Eck of a job Brownie!

Yes, it's all in play, as predicted, and when it's done, the world will be a different, much colder place for the Exceptionalists who scanned the world from their computer screens, content that their place in center console of the universe would never change!

But. but.. it'll be good for my stack right?

Err, sorry bout that... stack gets smacked, by a Goldman sack - of every G-D asset Merikans still possess. All your shiny belong to US - Treasury that is!

Downer, yes. But but... you'll still have your vote buttons to fight back with! That'll show em whos boss.


SomethingSomethingDarkSide's picture

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.

Ghordius's picture

in short, you don't happen to know enough about that stuff to understand his comment

problem is, how can the world become less complicated so that it makes sense to your informational level?

take Yemen. does the war there go away just because you could not explain who is doing what, there, and why?

should you be able to, go on, I'd be delighted

Ghordius's picture

imagine Bob and John promising to come to each other's aid if the redskins attack their ranches
they also think they ought to have both each two rifles and one handgun

years later Bob says: I have now 300 rifles, but if you don't increase your weapon park from 100 to 200 I might not come to your aid. John... puzzled, scratches his head

Uschi, the German Secretary of War is right, btw. there is no debit account. the official American criticism over the last years is that there ought to be more european frigates, warplanes and tanks around. and we look around and ask ourselves: why? we have three times what Russia has!

now, question time: why exactly does the US spend 2.6 % of GDP... m-o-r-e then the old guideline of the alliance suggests, i.e. 2.0%?

seriously, why double? it's as much as the rest of the world. it is as if the USA would regard it as probable that the everybody else might regard it as an enemy, in a possible future

or.... it's just all about money, and so powerful and subtle lobbyism paired with even more PR

BobEore's picture

ERR, pal...

blaming the fact that you feel you're dumber now than you were five minutes ago...

on anybody but yourself, is a sure sign that you should stay away from any and all content on the net which isn't pre-filtered to bolster your own sense of self-worth and play to your perceptual limitations.

Not everybody can wear bigboy pants. Some have to content themselves with being 'popular.' Deal wit it!

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ 847,

How much Criminal Bankster Fiat was printed in Germany then handed over to bail out Greece. Money the Greek people never saw a penny of which went directly into the pockets of those same Bankster Criminal Frauds.

Fuck you Germany, pay up, shut the Fuck up! No more protection money. Defund & Eliminate the

N. orth

A. merican

T. errorist

O. rganization

Manthong's picture

that acronym is a keeper


tmosley's picture

Good for a select few. Bad to awful for most.

They will be much better off without us. Japan would probably see its already low rape rate cut in half. Of course, Germany has another source of foreign rapists now, one much more prolific than our soldiers ever thought of being, so not much help there. But they might see some independent thought return, even if only just in time to see a caliphate established there.

Maynard G. Krebs's picture

To Hell with 'em!
Let them defend themselves. Close our bases, bring it all home.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Yea, no one wants to pay or fight...but let's have a war with Russia! You can't make this shit up. Nothing but a bunch of squealing Jews who want your kids to go fight for their "freedom".


Jubal Early's picture

Mainstream Media = squealing Jews

Thats why jews don't eat pork, because when it comes time to butcher the pig and it starts squealing they think the pig speeks hebrew.

Jubal Early's picture

If the Germans didn't  have their head shoved so far up their asses by the Zionists then they would be happy.  But that is not the case.  

Take that fucking kraut cunt defense minister appointed by the tribe.  She has absolutely no business in the job, nor do all the other cunt defense ministers accross the EU.  Lets face it, they are about as legitimate as all the affirmative action blacks being sent to university by their zionist masters without even having the intelligence to get a legitimate high school diploma.

These cunts "think" (i scare quote that because their brains belong to zion even if they are too stupid to realize it) that they are defending their respective countries, but in reality they are working with the zionists to destroy them.

post turtle saver's picture

since the in-law side of my family is German, I can assure you they would not be happy with that... they would get nailed from both sides with money not coming in and having to pay for their own defense, and they know the "German Miracle" requires Uncle Sugar to keep running...

idahobandito's picture

If thats the case, then do it... I wouldn't want to be somewhere Im not wanted....unless its in a Libs face. We have borders and Bases here that could use the manpower.


Bigly's picture

Right-o.  Ok, leave NATO.

Take our $$$ and just leave.

Leave the bases, scorched earth style, unless there is a country or two that we then directly enter into an agreement to be there

The Ram's picture

Yes, the time has come to abandon the entire stupid NATO idea.  The Soviet Union is long gone and Russia would never be stupid enough to march into the EU.  At this stage, NATO is just a big line item on the MIC account.  It's serves the dual purpose to make contractors wealthier and plays to the plebs when necessary.  If Trump wants to start to get real, he would abandon the entire NATO treaty and move on.   Unfortunately, there seems to be this huge stasis in humanity that just does not want to move on. AND this is the case with both so called liberals and conservatives.  

Justin Case's picture

ZATO is just an extortion racket for the MIC. Watch how fast ZATO member would be attacked if they went shopping for weapons at a better price, like Philippines did. They bought better and cheaper rifles from Russia. How bout if Germany went shopping their for a better deal?

MFL5591's picture

Fuck them now tell them to defend themesleves!