Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 08, 2019

Trump Asks Germany, Japan To Pay For Being Occupied

It will fun to watch this developing:

Trump Seeks Huge Premium From Allies Hosting U.S. Troops

Under White House direction, the administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil -- plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to a dozen administration officials and people briefed on the matter.
Current and former administration officials briefed on the idea, who asked not to be identified discussing the program, describe it as far more advanced than is publicly known. As well as seeking more money, the administration wants to use it as a way to exert leverage on countries to do what the U.S. demands overseas.

As evidence, they say officials at the Pentagon have been asked to calculate two formulas: One would determine how much money countries such as Germany ought to be asked to pay. The second would determine the discount those countries would get if their policies align closely with the U.S.

The extortion scheme Trump wants to use against 'allies' is a perfect own goal.

The German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel is already accused of being too deep inside the U.S. rear.

Her party supported the war on Iraq and now joined the illegal regime change attempt in Venezuela. The public is way less pro-American than German politicians. It will be quite difficult for Merkel and others to justify additional billions for U.S. troops in Germany. They are neither needed nor wanted. (The only sound reason to keep the 30,000 U.S. troops in Germany is to prevent them from moving to Poland from where they could threaten the country.)

The situation in Japan is similar. The government of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe supports hawkish U.S. policies but is also under attack over a new U.S. base on Okinawa. It will have problems to justify spending for the privilege of keeping the country under U.S. occupation.

Trump's extortion racket will make it more difficult for Merkel and Abe to ally with the U.S. on other issues.

That is a sound reason to welcome it.

Posted by b on March 8, 2019 at 16:26 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Thanks B. This is how empires end, or at least one way. Hubris gets them every time. I for one will be glad to see US troops at the very least reduced in Italy, and for all of Europe for that matter. Especially now that the INF is dead. And I hear that Italy is now looking at embracing China's B&R Initiative. I say have at it! There's the shiver waiting to run up Washington's spine. You might find this amusing, too: Little Luxembourg. It does bring a big smile. Keep going, Trump. You're on the right track. More Art of the Deal, anyone?

Posted by: m | Mar 8 2019 16:38 utc | 1

Oh, what a perfect graphic depiction! Spot on!

Posted by: BM | Mar 8 2019 16:38 utc | 2

thanks b... descriptive pic!!! why are american bases all over the planet anyway?

Posted by: james | Mar 8 2019 16:40 utc | 3

This will be good for every one. Trump demands the Germans and Japanese pay for US protection, which they reject and the US military goes home. Isn't that an excellent outcome for all parties?

Posted by: ab initio | Mar 8 2019 16:42 utc | 4

Thank you for yet another good and humorous post.

The only section that is slightly unclear is, "The only sound reason to keep the 30,000 U.S. troops in Germany is to prevent them from moving to Poland from where they could threaten the country."

Surely the US occupation of Germany has been tacitly or latently threatening and controlling and dominating and bullying and extorting Germany for around 74 years?

So what major difference would it make if they were moved a few hundred kilometers away?

Kick 'em out! Germany has more than served her sentence!

A clarification would be much appreciated.

Posted by: Elliott A | Mar 8 2019 16:42 utc | 5

The European people should support Trump in his desire to eliminate NATO. Of course the Deep State in both Europe and the US will fight it tooth and nail. Maybe the #GiletsJaunes who have been erased from western media will finally topple the Party of Davos candidate Macron. And similar populist movements in other European countries can topple other Deep State stooges from western Europe. Merkel is already on her way out as the CDU/CSU combine and the Social Democrats implode in Germany.

Posted by: ab initio | Mar 8 2019 16:49 utc | 6

Extortion because you’re broke. We don’t have the money to pay for it, so this administration resorts to mob tactics to keep the scam going. “The government and us are cut from the same cloth.” Sam Giancana, former Chicago mob boss.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Mar 8 2019 16:52 utc | 7

If that graphic is any indication of public opinion in Germany, things are even worse than I'd heard.

There has been a small series of events where the German Government gave the US meddlers a shove-off. First was the new gas pipeline Nord 2 - they refused to fold for perfectly good economic reasons. Next was the German rejection of the horrible F-35. Recently I'm seeing headlines about Germany and the Chinese 5G company.

Germany won't ban Huawei from 5G auction

Given all of this, I'm beginning to doubt if the Germans will allow the US to plant new short-range nuclear missiles on their soil. Becoming a WW3 target for no good reason except to please the US of A Imperium wouldn't seem to be a very clever move on their part.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 8 2019 16:54 utc | 8

I agree with Elliott A that it is better to have the US troops in Poland than in Germany - and better that the inviters of the US troops then become the target for the defensive nuclear missiles they force Russia to deploy rather than Germany.

Furthermore, if Poland is forced to pay the full cost of their invited US guests, maybe their voters will eventually come to their senses and vote in more rational Polish politicians.

Spectacular own goal, Trump!

Posted by: BM | Mar 8 2019 16:55 utc | 9

The Poles may want them but they won't be paying for it. Nice of Donald to ask though rather than tell .... has he been talking diplomacy classes?

Posted by: dh | Mar 8 2019 17:00 utc | 10

Thank you, BM.

The Poles are generally pseudo-Catholic and mercenary, pro-American in-name-only; as soon as it could hit them in the pocket, they will pipe down very quickly and balk/bridle.

Hence Poland is a worthy (temporary) stopover for the US (including the NSA) when evicted from Germany. The fact that Merkel is out soon is dangerous because she doesn't really G/A/F, and will defer the decision to the next poor blighter.

There could be a treaty in place that says American troops can remain in Germany until the year 2500 but Trump's just shot himself in the foot again by giving Germany a get-out clause.

Posted by: Elliott A | Mar 8 2019 17:06 utc | 11

Zero hedge is reporting that Pence went a bit further than that and urged Germany To provoke Russian Navy in the Kerch Strait by sending ships there in a freedom of navigation exercise. Strangely enough Merkel said she was willing to provoke Russia, but thought doing it wouldn't accomplish anything so she didn't want to provoke Russia for no reason. God, how insane are these idiots. And now it looks like in response Pence/Trump will extort Germany for not being mindlessly obedient enough.

Posted by: Kadath | Mar 8 2019 17:07 utc | 12

Merkel is already on her way out as the CDU/CSU combine and the Social Democrats implode in Germany.
Posted by: ab initio | Mar 8, 2019 11:49:49 AM | 6

The problem is though, that the Deep State have already reserved their places in Merkel's successors, the AfD. All of these right-wing "populist" parties acros Europe seem to be no more than a cynical vehicle for the Deep State to hijack popular discontent and channel it into a new form of slavery to replace the old. Hence Steve Banner's dubious and highly dangerous politicking for the so-called populist movement in Europe.

A real future lies in Jeremy Corbyn and maybe also a few other left-wing parties in Europe (as long as they don't become compradors like Syriza) - but the Deep State is fighting Corbyn tooth and nail. In Germany there is Die Linke who have some good people and some good policies (from my limited knowledge!) - but their popularity is still in the doldrums, unfortunately.

Posted by: BM | Mar 8 2019 17:07 utc | 13

Wow, if he is asking us to pay for the US occupation does that mean that if we say no that he will take them home? Or is it an empty threat?

A very dangerous question to even think about asking let alone encourage it.

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 8 2019 17:08 utc | 14

And of course, the extortion must be paid in US Dollars. Clearly, the threat is all about keeping Dollar Hegemony alive by reducing the massive trade deficit. I see AfD making capital thanks to this. As for Japan, Russia will not sign a Peace Treaty with it until all foreign military forces are removed--a condition that's been reiterated several times over the last few months to which I've linked. Okinawans are furious at being twice colonized and are at the end of their rope. So far they've been peaceful, but I think it's clear to them by now that the only way to remove the foreign vermin is to literally push them into the sea. Korea's situation's been discussed on that thread.

For the domestic Outlaw US Empire, shutting down the Overseas Empire of Bases and the related destabilization projects globally would save @ $1 Trillion/year--an utter wastage of monies for projects that are decidedly NOT in the National Interest. And as most here understand, the world would be more peaceful if the Outlaw US Empire would cease being an Outlaw and an Empire. And it would become cleaner too as the US Military is the most polluting entity on the planet.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2019 17:14 utc | 15

>>>> dh | Mar 8, 2019 12:00:27 PM | 10

Isn't Poland offering to pay the United States $2 billion to establish a base called Fort Trump?

BTW, perhaps this is a ruse to remove all U.S. troops from Syria. I'd love to be there when Elliott "debt collector" Abrams turns up demanding the money from Assad. There is an opportunity for one of the greatest reality TV programs ever (I'm a neo-con, get me out of here) which makes me wonder if that's Trump's reason for this scheme.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 8 2019 17:17 utc | 16

All Americans needs to protect Americans in the US is a coast guard and a border patrol. Everything else is either protection for corporations doing business [which should be added to the price of their products/services to reflect true costs] or empire.

Posted by: stevelaudig | Mar 8 2019 17:19 utc | 17

Yes, it's another damp squib, another no-win, another over-promise, another posture, like all the others.

This is all Trump knows and integrity never enters the equation.

Any sign of that border wall, that the Mexican government was going to pay for?

Not exactly "The Art of The Deal". more like one long and embarrassing suicide note.

I don't exactly dislike Trump particularly as he has "Mullered" a number of cretinous insiders whom required a reality check but he is hindbound by his capinet; none of his plans went through and he is in it well over his depth particularly since he appears to be suffering from ADHD, dementia and schizophrenia - just what you need in the Commander-in-Chief?

Posted by: Elliott A | Mar 8 2019 17:19 utc | 18

On the bright side, you can get a bigly discount for being a faithful toady and swearing allegiance to the US of A. Wonder where the US 'leaders' got the idea of swearing allegiance to a foreign power?

Posted by: Ger | Mar 8 2019 17:20 utc | 19

A Fort Trump in Poland? Maybe...

Posted by: Lavrenty | Mar 8 2019 17:21 utc | 20

>>>> karlof1 | Mar 8, 2019 12:14:11 PM | 15

....the world would be more peaceful if the Outlaw US Empire would cease being an Outlaw and an Empire....

Trump's just demonstrated that by staying out of the very recent Indo-Pakistan incident. Maybe he didn't want Americans dying in the shithole that is the sub-continent. Maybe he didn't see any opportunity to line his own pocket. Whatever his reason, he did the right thing. Would Hillary have done the same? I don't know.....

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 8 2019 17:24 utc | 21

Thanks for the posting b LOL!!!!

Empire is getting the rest of its plates spinning so that must mean that the end is getting closer. I don't think that the Philippine's plate is spinning fast enough so Trump needs to give it some special love.

Pretty soon we will need a plate spinning scorecard just to keep track of all the action.

and now Germany and Japan

What plates am I missing?

Think about how much of the peoples resources are going to keeping these plates spinning.

Who are going to come to the table with what arguments when the debt music stops?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 8 2019 17:25 utc | 22

For Germans here,
Is there any party in Germany being against US forces in Germany? Or if not being against, atleast questioning this issue?

Posted by: Zanon | Mar 8 2019 17:31 utc | 23

The simplistic explanation is tempting:

* Trump has driving desire to be seen as the first businessman president.
* The appeal of Trump making 'allies pay their fair share' any reality check on how counterproductive the effort is to the waning US empire
* Trump's unique candidacy put him in the White House without any real foreign policy staff who would have long ago gotten Trump to abandon the silly idea - at least after he was elected.

The multi-polar world is quickly becoming a reality and the US empire is in decline. Doubtful this brouhaha about 'protection money' will change that trend in any meaningful way.

The only other explanation is this really is 4D chess on Trump's part where he sees these silly shakedown attempts as the most efficient way of getting the US out of NATO.

Posted by: Rollings | Mar 8 2019 17:35 utc | 24

btw - The picture is probably from the Duesseldorf Carnival.

Posted by: mk | Mar 8 2019 17:42 utc | 25

American troops pack up your shit and get the f*ck out, oh and here’s an invoice for $100 billion to cover the cost of cleaning up your toxic waste.
Thanks for your business.

Posted by: GM | Mar 8 2019 17:51 utc | 26

"They are neither needed nor wanted."

The only Germans that want them are restaurants and shops located near the bases and other businesses that cater to them.

Yes, Trump's new policy is very welcome if it gets Germany to kick them out or, better yet, get out of NATO. I wonder if Trump intends it - or is he just plain stupid?

Posted by: David Wooten | Mar 8 2019 17:52 utc | 27

From the article:

Victor Cha, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said the administration was sending a deliberate message by demanding “Cost Plus 50” from South Korea first, even though that effort fell short.

Ouch, poor SK. What a timing, straight after 'successful' NK talks.
With allies like that, who needs enemies?

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 8 2019 17:52 utc | 28

@16 Only $2 billion? Would that be a lump sum up front or payable in installments? Can't see Donald falling for it.

Posted by: dh | Mar 8 2019 17:53 utc | 29

Ghost Ship @ 21
In that incident an aged MIG21 from India downed a F16 from Pakistan.
Also there is a $20bil project going on in India to make F16 locally.

I guess the atmosphere was just not right to poke the nose in else it would have been ideal scenario.

Posted by: KD | Mar 8 2019 17:57 utc | 30

Perhaps this will finally get the EU to kick the US and its NATO out.

But I don't underestimate the ability of EU elites to crawl to the US. It's like second nature. And they get their pockets stuffed full of dollars to be kept in line.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Mar 8 2019 18:08 utc | 31

Let me guess the free loading douche bag country that gets the most support from the US will magically be excluded from these demands yet again.

I sure hope they try this protection racquet in Iraq. The government is already under huge pressure to kick the Americans out after Trumps visit there last month.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Mar 8 2019 18:22 utc | 32

What's America's plan to maintain economic wealth at the end of the debt spiral and dollar collapse????

I have an idea!! Tribute! Hey, it worked for the Aztecs. Soon many countries will see it as a small price to pay to avoid having democracy brought to their countries. Previous versions of this scheme, such as buying US treasury debt knowing full well it will never be repaid wont cut it anymore. So we are moving towards the real thing.

Posted by: Lysander | Mar 8 2019 18:38 utc | 33

When I used to play football in my young days (i.e. soccer for the american lads here), I had to pass by a huge US military base in the south of Germany each time in order to reach the training ground. But strangely, I never challenged the necessity of that base in the first place - probably due to my lack of geopolitical, historical consciousness. Only after they build a second, even bigger base directly on the opposite side of the road and after two combat helicopters - for the first time - flew directly above my head, I finally became aware and started to question things. I wonder how many people that drive the same road each day actually do feel the same...
Anyway, thank you b and thanks to all the well-experienced forumites for providing the vital informations and inputs that helped me to better understand what is going on after all.

Posted by: Vato | Mar 8 2019 18:56 utc | 34

Is trump trying to get the US booted from Europe?

This is quite a slap in the face as the US has been raising tensions with Russia and any conflict with Russia would likely cause the destruction of Europe.

Posted by: Alaric | Mar 8 2019 19:04 utc | 35

Wondering how this will play out in places such as the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain where the U.S. actually pays the dictator to lease the Navy and Air Force bases? Where the U.K. pays the dictator for a British naval facility, too, which is shared?

Remember when Bahrain and other Arab countries in the Persian Gulf didn't want bases to be called bases? Instead they were each a Regional Operations Support Establishment, aka ROSE. Surely there's a different term now, but we still pay to lease bases.

Posted by: jv | Mar 8 2019 19:07 utc | 36

Give trump credit: he raises the issue. And by doing so he gives people the opportunity to be thrust into the act of questioning.

I continue to believe that this is really the overriding attribute of his presidency. What people like the Germans do with this opportunity is entirely incumbent on them. But it is an opportunity nonetheless, and as b correctly asserts, this is a welcomed change from the political grab ass of the preceding administrations.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Mar 8 2019 19:10 utc | 37

We should wish good luck to the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) in hosting US bases: not only will they have to foot the cost of hosting US forces but their entire economies by now must be revolving around being open-air military barracks. All while their own citizens are voting with their feet.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 8 2019 19:23 utc | 38

Psychohistorian @ 22: You're missing large parts of Africa (possibly Djibouti where there's a US base; Rwanda which is a US satrapy under President Paul Kagame; western Africa where there are offshore oil and gas deposits) and Georgia where the US operates a bioweapons laboratory.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 8 2019 19:30 utc | 39

Once again, on the surface this is obvious extortion. But I can't help but think this is really a purposeful 'own goal.' I know this is likely giving Trump too much credit, but in a parallel universe this is exactly what you would do if you had a hidden agenda to enfeeble the US to cause our eventual pull back. There's no political way to slowly scale back our involvement, but there is a way to overreach under everyone's noses and get the same end result. Is this a 666d chess move or just what happens as empire descends into chaos, grasping at straws? Either way I'm fine with the obvious result!

Posted by: Drew | Mar 8 2019 19:38 utc | 40

We are seeing the true colors. What we now have are Co-Presidents: Bolton, Trump; and Co-Vice Presidents Pompous and Pence. The 4 morons do not realize they are isolating the U.S.A. and hastening rejection of the USD.
Adhere my diktat and keep purchasing our T-bills.

RT cites Bloomberg Merkel refuses to send Navy ships to Russia’s shores, rebuffs US pressure

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has allegedly stood up to pressure from Washington as she declined a proposal by Vice President Mike Pence to send German Navy ships towards Russia’s Crimea, Bloomberg reports, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Pence allegedly wanted German ships to sail through the Kerch Strait separating Crimea from mainland Russia. France, [.]

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 8 2019 19:49 utc | 41

next, trump asks venezuela to pay in advance for the invasion. in usd.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 8 2019 20:13 utc | 42

This is an utterly brilliant Empire-killing move by Trump. Speaking of the UK I wonder how much we will be asked to pony up for the US air bases and troops still in the UK 75 years after D-day. This should hit just after Brexit and we may have a different government in the chair......

Posted by: Emmanuel Goldstein | Mar 8 2019 20:59 utc | 43

i know it's an old goes all the way back to 2016...but i smell weaponized flatulence.

Posted by: john | Mar 8 2019 21:09 utc | 44

lol to the last two posts...

Posted by: james | Mar 8 2019 21:14 utc | 45

pretzelattack @42,

That's not how a leveraged buyout works.

Posted by: Jonathan | Mar 8 2019 21:26 utc | 46

Although I didn't read or watch, it appears most major BigLie Media have published/aired this story, a point I was curious about since Friday's usually a slow news day, thus begging the question: What's the public's reaction? Might there be a groundswell calling for returning the troops home so that both the occupied nation and the occupier save monies? And what of the opposite argument, that even more troops and bases are needed to defend against the Red and Yellow Menace?

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2019 21:29 utc | 47

If I was a president who could not step too far out of line due to powerful forces all around me, I would take the ideas of neocons et al and push them even further over the line past reasonable.
No-one in power could argue against me because I'm implementing their ideas, even though I'm taking them too far.
But pushing things too far creates real resistance, and makes the real policies obvious, and brings about the end of the empire.

I might decide to:
1. Move the US embassy to Jerusalem, to make it clear who calls the shots
2. Demand that NATO countries pay more and publicly disrespect their leaders
3. Demand that Germany and Japan pay for their occupation
4. Obviously attack Venezuela (in contrast to previous less-obvious attacks)
5. and other increasingly outrageous demands until the vassals get fed up

Meanwhile I'd do other things that I have to do to keep the powerful forces happy.
I may be a terrible person with no 3-d chess master plan, but perhaps things would be different after my term. And "different" might approximate "better".

Posted by: Deltaeus | Mar 8 2019 21:42 utc | 48


"Obama was a smiling murderer, says Ilhan Omar" And of course, she's 100% correct. As Ben Norton noted in this tweet, Omar's words were citied in a Politico article that he linked. You'll note, that by extension she also called Trump a murderer, just not as "polished."

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2019 21:49 utc | 49

Deltaeus @49--

There's merit in your argument. For example, the so far small contingent of anti-war Progressive Democrats either were elected or emboldened thanks to Trump, Rep. Omar being the most prominent example. The same could be said of pushing the far-right's policy goals, as that's also generated resistance. Too bad the initial call for resistance was based on the Russiagate hoax. Time will tell!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 8 2019 21:58 utc | 50

Okay. If you don't get your weekly payola, then shut down the foreign bases. Only thing is, what do we do with all these armed people trained to kill on command, looking for some action in between saying the Pledge of Allegiance and painting Bible verses on bombs?

I sure as shit don't want them all coming back here, loitering around in the US. Got too many cops on steroids as it is.

Posted by: teri | Mar 8 2019 21:59 utc | 51

@ teri who wrote
I sure as shit don't want them all coming back here, loitering around in the US. Got too many cops on steroids as it is.
Its called karma

I live here too....the energy needs to be refocused on planet rehab and going to the stars along with my standard make global finance public

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 8 2019 22:05 utc | 52

It will fun to watch this developing:

It sure will.
Especially the Neocons as they scramble around trying to collect all the rust flakes to glue them back onto dilapidated USA's dilapidated Foreign Policy.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 8 2019 22:35 utc | 53

I'm sorry, but many people posting here are delusional about Trump's motives.

For a start, none of the issues discussed in this post would cause the American people much in the way of dispute. Broadly, most Americans would think that other countries should pay for US "support". Americans disagree quite a bit about "The Wall" and gender issues around public restrooms; but not so much about the issues raised in this post. So there IS NO RESISTANCE, and WILL NOT BE ANY RESISTANCE, within the US, on getting countries to pay.

Other countries might have problems but what other countries think has never been much of an issue for Americans.

The issue of getting other countries to pay is about cost and the out-of-control US debt. And, also, about Trump electioneering.

Should other countries refuse to pay (or request US troops to leave), then they can expect to be sanctioned or economically damaged. Just consider how France (a US ally) had one of their prize jewel (world-beating) nuclear technology intellectual assets, Alstom's Arabelle steam turbine, taken from them by the US. This happened way before Trump so demonstrates how the US operates (the art of the [coercive] deal is the way the US rolls). France, and in particular Macron, who was French Finance/Economic Minster, at the time, had no choice but to accept the takeover. Macron actually appeared quite gleeful about it (Macron was effectively working for US, not French, interests).

Posted by: ADKC | Mar 8 2019 22:44 utc | 54

Can Columbia or Kosovo afford to pay? Or will Washington increase the financial support they give to those countries to cover the bill.

As for NATO, the core system was based on the countries that are members providing a reliable easily-secured base for American expeditionary forces to attack and invade one of the two countries that are at the heart of the Eurasian landmass. In exchange for that the United States bankrolled NATO. If Trump breaks that bargain, what incentive is there for the core members of NATO to allow wars to be fought on their territory particularly now that Putin has said he is focused on improving the lives of ordinary Russians rather than going to war with Europe but will make sure that the decision centres of any countries that attack or are somehow involved in an attack on Russia will be destroyed. None as far as I can see, so it looks like it'll be goodbye NATO.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 8 2019 22:47 utc | 55

@55ADKC - why would other countries pay to have the usa military on their soil? this explains the whole agenda of fearmongering that has been in overdrive 24/7 since i was a kid... nothing else explains it.. keep the fear up to justify this craziness.. i can't see anyone paying for it.. i sure wouldn't want that if i was german, japanese or south korean for example... now, maybe the leaders of these countries are going to be faced with a stark choice... side with this b.s., or get removed from office... i praise trump for bringing this forth and hope that he strikes a big fat zero from the countries that have usa bases on them...

Posted by: james | Mar 8 2019 23:04 utc | 56


Die Linke are officially opposed to NATO and want Germany to withdraw from it.

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Mar 8 2019 23:12 utc | 57

I think Trump believes the hype fed to Americans forever that the US soldiers are the good guys and they really are protecting these countries. He also has a reputation for squeezing contractors etc.
To MAGA he thinks it needs better deals and more people sending money in.

These are his motives and not 4d chess.

Posted by: arby | Mar 8 2019 23:18 utc | 58

@59. I think that's right. He genuinely believes US forces are out there protecting 'our allies' and keeping the world safe for democracy etc. But he also thinks 'our allies' are taking advantage of American generosity. This is a common sentiment among Trump voters.

Posted by: dh | Mar 8 2019 23:45 utc | 59

I think most Americans think they are protecting the world.

Posted by: arby | Mar 8 2019 23:49 utc | 60

What better evidence that the MIC is bankrupting the USA?

This is how empires fall - the cost of empire bleeds them white and eventually hollows them out to such a degree that collapse becomes inevitable.

The USA is in for a massive shock over this: it believes those "allies" have no choice but to pay that extortion money.

But they do have a choice.

All these treaties have a withdrawal clause, and it doesn't seem to occur to the Americans that it's not just Uncle Sam who can invoke it.

My money is on the Phillipines to be the first to invoke their clause. South Korea next, and only then the gutless Europeans.

Australia last, or maybe not at all.

Gonna be ugly when all 800 overseas military bases are in Oz. Not sure Sydney Harbour is able to accommodate all those warships....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 8 2019 23:54 utc | 61

james @57

Because they are (particularly, in Europe) occupied countries and many things can be done to ensure compliance (economic, gladio operations, sanctions, theft of assets, prosecution for any offence [no matter how small, incidental, or accidental] if a dollar is involved, influx of refugees, war [directly or adjacent to target country], removal of post-colonial areas of influence, instigating financial collapse [Deutche Bank is supposed to be very vulnerable and would effect the entire EU/world], etc).

Why couldn't France protect Alstom? Would France be able to resist if the US targeted the African CFA countries (which are France's neo-colonial milk-cows and essential to the economic well-being of France and detrimental to the African people subject to the CFA franc)?

You "praise Trump" for raising this issue but it's just the same old, same old.

The only place relatively secure is the Chinese/Russia milieu but that's the other side of the real "wall" and restricts the expansion of OBOR. And the price (for Russia and China) is having the entire western nuclear arsenal aimed at you.

Whether or not any payments are actually made will make no difference; US troops will remain in occupied territory. (BTW: Europe will pay, the key is Germany. If Germany refuse to pay the rest will follow. But Germany can't fudge this; it would amount to open resistance and a re-negotiation of the outcome of the 2nd World War and, unless the US want to give up the fruits of their 1945 victory, I don't see that happening. Germany will realise that, if the US insist, they will have to comply; it's the direct consequence of losing the war and being occupied.]

Posted by: ADKC | Mar 8 2019 23:57 utc | 62

Moving American troops to Poland? Surely, the benefits are many. First, since the size of the military is much smaller than in Warsaw block times, there are many military grounds. Particularly in areas where forests are larger, climate harsher, and local men are fond of beating up strangers when they get drunk. Local roads are crappy and American soldiers are prone to hit side road trees. To summarize, martial skills and spirit are bound to improve.

For even better results, they should be moved to Estonia, Latvia and Finnmark, areas bordering Russian Federation. OTOH, fleecing Balts would be like squeezing blood from stone. E.g. Lithuania is an exemplary NATO member, spending 2% of GDP on the military, and yet they cannot afford a tank.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 8 2019 23:57 utc | 63

Posted by: arby | Mar 8, 2019 6:18:07 PM | 59

He's already said he doesn't believe the hype. He said it 60 Minutes after his inauguration...

"We've spent 6 Trillion dollars in the Middle East....6 Trillion! We could have rebuilt America twice. It's unfair what's happened to the American people, and we're gonna put a stop to it."

Remember now?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 9 2019 0:01 utc | 64

"We should wish good luck to the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) in hosting US bases:..."
Eastern European politicians of the "Made in America" kind, some from expatriate communities in cities like Montreal or Chicago, others, like Guiado, trained in US Educational institutions, take advantage of popular ignorance to win support for US bases. That support will dissolve quickly when the troops appear and Ugly Americanism comes with it (all imperialist garrisons act the same way, the troops rape, get drunk and destroy property, wear out their welcome very quickly.) Ask an Okinawan or a Korean.

The Trumpian premiss of this argument is very questionable: he may not realise it but the US makes considerable profits from NATO and its bases. It gets actual financial subsidies from host governments but there are also many indirect benefits. One of which is control over Arms procurement: NATO forces have to equip themselves with standard weaponry, for interoperability. That tends to mean that they have to close down their arms industries- nobody else will buy them- and Buy American. Hence the destruction of most European Aircraft manufacturing-despite enormous efforts by government and vast investments- and the choice by European governments to pay incredibly inflated prices for US arms. Take the F-35 for example. Or the patriot missile 'defence' system...the list is endless, in Canada there is still resentment at the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. It's a story that can be duplicated in the UK and throughout NATO.
NATO is a scam in every sense and an expensive one. Ordinary Americans get no benefits from it (unless the work in the Arms industry) but it keeps the vast military industrial complex very profitable.
As someone earlier suggested Trump's problem is that he actually believes the propaganda directed at the hoi poloi, or pretends to. Europeans understand that NATO and those bases benefit them not at all and have reduced large parts of their economies to de-industrialised ruins. That is part of what Brexit is really about: regaining national sovereignty and building things at home. How much is Trident, controlled by the US and designed by them, projected to cost the UK? Hundreds of billions directly transferred from the poor bloody taxpayer in a system that makes pre Revolutionary France's tax system look equitable.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 9 2019 0:03 utc | 65

He believes the hype that America is protecting the world. He just thinks that the protected should at least pay for it.

Posted by: arby | Mar 9 2019 0:05 utc | 66

The countries Trump wants to hit with fees are those he wanted the US military to pull out of anyway. The cold war relics. Europe, Korea ect. Any bases to do with Israel Iran Venezuela will not be hitting up the host country for extortion money. Bases he wants to use to pressure China will also likely be exempt.
Those that do get hit with the fees, Trump doesn't give a shit if the US stays or leaves, so long as the US is well paid if it stays.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 9 2019 0:05 utc | 67

@55 If the NATO countries refuse to pay then Trump can't respond by imposing sanctions on the individual countries.

Well, he could, but what is the point?

The USA can't sanction the EU, China and Russia. That is economic suicide.

Trump would be creating a rival trade bloc that is many times bigger than the US economy. The American nightmare for over a century.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 9 2019 0:06 utc | 68

BM @ 13

I don't think Corbyn is the Messiah you take him for. He has sound ideas on not bombing foreigners - unusual in a British politician - but apart from that he's a busted flush. Not even close observers care to predict who will come out on top in the mud wrestling at Westminster but if Corbyn makes it watch him accommodate.


With great respect, "b", and as happens rarely, I don't believe this article is on target. America is the spine and most of the muscle of European defence. Forget Aachen. It'll be a long time before any purely European defence force is up to scratch.

The Europeans are hoping that America will hold the fort in the meantime. That's not an alliance. It's a marriage of temporary convenience.

Presumably the Americans must be sensing that.


Posted by: English Outsider | Mar 9 2019 0:06 utc | 69

Of course the other problem with this is it makes the American forces official mercenaries rather than national forces and all the legal consequences that flow from that.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Mar 9 2019 0:08 utc | 70

History first as tragedy and later as a farce. Alexander Solzhenitsyn: “Beria reported only to Stalin and Stalin reported only to Satan.” Now Bolton reports only to Trump and Chump reports only to Sreadsheets. So much winning and multi-dimensional chess... It's deplorable. Lol

Posted by: Augustin L | Mar 9 2019 0:16 utc | 71

@59 and @60 This is why the shock will be all the more stunning to the Americans.

Its "allies" have no problem with Uncle Sam spending like a drunken sailor. As far as they are concerned, well, who cares.

But if Trump insists THEY pay for American profligacy then they are going to say "no".

American pundits will then pontificate on how much MORE it would cost those allies, and the response will be: don't be stupid, we won't spend money to protect ourselves against a threat that doesn't exist.

Because - and let's be honest here - in a post-NATO world the only military threat to Europe will be the USA, and the US Army will be on the other side of the Atlantic.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 9 2019 0:17 utc | 72

I see a number of comments where the question's begged: Just what nation intends to invade Europe such that the continuing Outlaw US Empire's occupation's warranted? Putin and Xi want Europe to join the EAEU/BRI confab--invasion via commerce?!

It appears the Anti-Communist Crusade is having a hard time dying in some quarters, particularly where continually invoking it is required dogma by controlling interests.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2019 0:17 utc | 73

I think Trump and his MAGA boils everything down to money. Money goes out and money comes in. His job is to slow the money going out and get more money coming in. I think it is that simple. You get bombed by our smart freedom and democracy bombs then you should be decent enough to pay for it. Also our bases are protecting you from getting bombed by evildoers bombs. You should definitely pay for that. Why are we?

Posted by: arby | Mar 9 2019 0:18 utc | 74

I’d like to see a study of the amount of money spent into the local economy by the occupation forces in Germany, Japan and South Korea. Not just by the military but by the servicemen, families, civilian contractors for housing, travel, schools, food, entertainment, etc

Obviously paying to be occupied is not happening, but there is some logic to the idea that the occupied receive some economic benefits from being occupied, including but not limited to a reduction in spending on their own military.

Posted by: Pft | Mar 9 2019 0:34 utc | 75

This is, frankly, a lot of nonsensical showboating that will not have any actual effect on anything.

-- "Pay us or we will leave"
-- "We are not paying"
-- "Um?"

There's probably more bullshit going on behind the scenes but this just looks RIDICULOUS, as does the Venezuelan adventure.

God Bless America!

Posted by: Elliott A | Mar 9 2019 0:39 utc | 76

Pft @76--

Any spending into the local economy is dwarfed by the amount of ecological damage done--just look at Subic Bay or Okinawa. And yes, studies have been done into both aspects; I've read them, but have no links.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2019 0:44 utc | 77


.” It's unfair what's happened to the American people, and we're gonna put a stop to it."

Trump just does not believe in others hype, only his own hype. So show me evidence he is stopping the spending which was his main point in what was infaur to Americans. Spending on the military is even higher, 6 trillion is now 8 trillion even if the accountants still cant tell who got paid

If Trump has shown us anything it is that he believes in the hype that whats good for Big Business is good for America. Even his request for more money from NATO countries is a request/demand to buy more from the MIC and not money to offset US military spending.

Sure, the reasons for the increased military spending are bogus, but he adds fuel to supposed conflicts with Iran, Russia, China, North Korea that allows him to justify more spending. Trumps just replaced Obama/Bush hype with his own personal hype. Call it Trump hype.

Posted by: Pft | Mar 9 2019 0:50 utc | 78

Pft, that's what economist Michael Hudson has been saying:

The US military spending overseas during the Vietnam war resulted in a balance of payments crisis, with the surprise solution being the recycling of USD from offshore economies back into the US financial sector.

And it's been going on ever since.

I'll try to get a link ... Super Imperialism also recently linked by the indefatigable karlof1.

The larger America's balance-of-payments deficit becomes, the more dollars end up in the hands of European, Asian and Near Eastern central banks, and the more money they must recycle back to the United States by buying U.S. Treasury bonds.

It's worthwhile to read any and all of Hudson's writings, including his autobiographical essay. He has worked in the belly of the beast; Chase Manhattan bank and Standard Oil (Exxon) just for starters, the Treasury and Finance departments of USA and Canada amongst others.

Here's that Michael Hudson Autobiography. It's both a video soliloquy and transcript.

Posted by: jonku | Mar 9 2019 0:50 utc | 79

@70 English Outsider care to identify the military threat that US forces "have to hold the fort" over until the Europeans get their shit together?

Who, exactly, is itching to invade Europe once US forces leave?

If US forces leave then the need for European countries to increase their military spending is negligible.

Indeed, it would be based on a single calculation: how big a threat is the USA?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 9 2019 1:24 utc | 80

OK fine, more hot air and theater. The BS spewed by this admin. is just friggen endless.

Beats talking about real issues facing 99% of Americans...

Posted by: ben | Mar 9 2019 1:26 utc | 81

People, people!...Where will the military go? It's so obvious, it is staring us in the face...


Ah, but not just space --


The War Planet!

And best of all -- there's no people there! They can have their war games ad infinitum!!! To boldly go...ok, I know, that dates me...

But oh my, blow it up! Blow it all up!! Keep on making horrible weapons, ship them off to Mars! Raytheon on steroids; what's not to love????? Trump will go down in history - no - up, up, and AWAY!!! [Just think - he'll have to visit the troops at Thanksgiving, take them a turkey - oh and take any Bushes and Boltons and Obamas and Clintons with him as it is rather far, a few Thanksgivings away but who's counting?]

And let there be peace on earth. So, be it!

Posted by: juliania | Mar 9 2019 1:31 utc | 82

Trump making brothels great again and declaring a truce to Chinese honey traps on US soil. The front goy is seriously compromised, deplorables will rue the day...

Posted by: Augustin L | Mar 9 2019 1:36 utc | 83

People are really thinking too hard.
The Trump strategy is simple a la "The Apprentice":
Get a bunch of ambitious people to commit to deliver to outlandish goals. These goals are set such that achieving or failing them, the blame goes to the failure but the success goes to the leader.
If they fail: "You're Fired"
If they succeed: "I'm Brilliant"

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 9 2019 1:51 utc | 84

With the Soviets out of Germany it is only appropriate that the other three move out too.

I am surprised why this wasn't negotiated then.

Posted by: Jiri | Mar 9 2019 1:54 utc | 85

This proposal broadens USA’s demand that Germany terminate its plans to obtain energy imports from Russia via Northstream. Trump has already asserted publicly (weeks ago) that the added cost of LNG imports should be viewed as a defense-related cost. Via this new mechanism, the cost will be not be borne 100% by Germany.

To understand why this new approach is likely to work, please read ADKC’s comments.

Pundits may poke fun but the AZ Empire is deadly serious and most AZ elites will be supportive. Especially when they are insulated from the cost (as they are).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 9 2019 2:00 utc | 86

@6ADKC... i agree with arbys view on this... trump and an undue number of americans probably think they are doing some good protecting others.. it's laughable! now, as to your question about france and alstrom... i don't know the specifics, but i know how easily euro politicians, and politicians in general can be bought... i think it is excellent trump is raising this issue, as i hope the leadership in these poodle countries recognize their goose will be cooked soon enough, as ordinary people won't stand for it.. so, i am simplifying here and i have to race out and will be back later to add more.. i see what you and jackrabbit are getting at, but at some point this mafia-gangster strategy is going to collapse.. maybe i am too naive, or idealistic.. i will give you that!

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2019 2:22 utc | 87

@87 jackrabbit

Your assessment is fine and not without merits but the other variable you seem to be missing is the German people and others in Europe, themselves.

Will this cowtowing to the US bullying not in the end fully ensconse their leaders as the globalist shills they truly are and thus lead to their demise? That is what b us alluding to. We are unaware of Trump's motivations, here, but that is inconsequential when we are talking about him waking up the people of Europe to finally give US the boot.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 9 2019 2:50 utc | 89


Well it was sort of ...

Posted by: haze | Mar 9 2019 2:51 utc | 90

"There's room at the top, they are telling you still, but first you must learn to smile as you kill," sang John Lennon.

Obama learned that lesson.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 9 2019 3:08 utc | 91

While cruising around the internet tubes I ran into a casual remark about Syria to the effect that since the US is doing an occupation there, aren't "we" entitled to payment? If there is any truth to a spate of recent headlines, the neocons have already solved that one.

U.S. Forces Steal Tons Of Gold Captured By ISIS In Syria, Iraq

How would ISIS have acquired any tonnage of gold? Perhaps it was part-payment for the oil they sold until the Russians intervened. (the US sure didn't bother those sales!) More likely they stole it from citizens and businesses. There have been LOTS of reports about the US secretly rescuing ISIS fighters. Now here is yet another motive for those airlifts. I predict any such gold will be quickly melted down so as to make it forever untraceable. Would Pompeo or Bolton do such a thing?

Hmm. That's a really hard one.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 9 2019 3:37 utc | 92

@ lysias #92

Oh my, but your post triggered the memory of yet another post I saw earlier.

Obama was a smiling murderer, says Ilhan Omar

It's bad enough that Omar tackled AIPAC, but to dump on Saint Obama is likely to get her pegged as a "self-hating negro". Wonder what Speaker Nancy will do this time? Threaten to waterboard her?

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 9 2019 3:46 utc | 93

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ہم انگلینڈ،کینڈا،جرمنی،اسپین،
اٹلی اور کسی بھی دوسرے ملک کے ڈپلیکیٹ اور فیک پاسپورٹ، کسی بھی قسم کا آڈی کارڈ، ڈرائیونگ لائسنس،یوٹیلیٹی بلز،برتھ سرٹیفکیٹ اور اس کے علاؤہ بھی کوئی بھی ڈاکیومنٹ قلیل مدت میں بنا کے دیتے ہیں۔
اگر آپ کے ایئرپورٹ امیگریشن اہلکاروں سے اچھے تعلقات ہیں تو آپ اپنے پسند کے ممالک میں سفر کر سکتے ہیں۔
آپ ان ڈاکیومنٹ سے کینیڈا، انگلینڈ، امریکہ اور کسی بھی دوسرے ملک میں نوکری اور رہاہیش حاصل کر سکتے ہیں اور اپنا بینک اکاؤنٹ کھلوا سکتے ہیں۔
ہم صرف دو ہفتوں میں آپ کو یہ ڈاکیومنٹ بنا کے دیں گیے۔ پاسپورٹ بنانے کا معاوضہ صرف دو ہزار ڈالر ہے اور وہ بھی آپ پاسپورٹ ملنے کے بعد ادا کیجئے۔
مزید معلومات کے لیے ہمارے واٹس ایپ نمبر پر رابطہ کریں:
مسٹر راج ٹھاکر

This was sent to me yesterday by a concerned Indian, with the tag of...”Be careful with your country”
He’s right!


Posted by: Steven Keith | Mar 9 2019 4:12 utc | 94

@70 English Outsider.

Re: "America is the spine and most of the muscle of European defence."

Defence against whom exactly? People pushing the narrative that the Russian Federation is a menace never mention the numbers involved. The European countries have roughly 3 times the population, 5 times the military spending and a massive advantage in GDP, look it up. If you add the US to the equation then more like 5 times the population and 15 times the military spending. The Russians have nukes of course but with the odds stacked up so spectacularly against them I don't blame them for thinking they need them as a deterrent. If you had another adversary in mind don't be shy.

Posted by: MarkU | Mar 9 2019 4:12 utc | 95


Thanks for the links. I have been following Hudson for the last 12 years and agree with much of what he says. I do disagree that dollar holdings are a tax on other countries. These dollars for the most part are paid to companies for goods and services. They exchange some of this with their central bank to invest locally or pay expenses. The central bank then prints their local currency out of thin air to exchange. The USD are then counted as reserves which allows them to create more local currency by 10+ times, depending on their reserve requirements. This money is spent or invested in the local economy.

The USD reserves can also be used to fund their own trade deficits with other countries, or pay of USD denominated loans

A lot has changed since 1971. After the Vietnam War was winding down the US pulled out of Bretton Woods as Hudson anticipated. They then established the Petrodollar which was not anticipated. This put more USD into the hands of OPEC nations as they were told to accept only USD and in return would be allowed higher oil prices, and much was recycled back to the US, but they and the rest of the world had other options.

This option was the Eurodollar which began in the 60’s in a limited fashion . A later sub-option was Eurodollars in the many tax havens, which developed first on British territories and then in the Carribean.

These options being exercised limited the amount of dollars coming back to the US and caused higher interest rates in order to attract some more of the dollars back.

The 1985 Plaza accord put in place an agreement to weaken the dollar with the US to buy more imported goods as they encouraged more US companies to move offshore to produce in low wage countries to keep inflation down. In return the deficits would be funded by other countries resending back the USD they received by buying treasuries. This was when the US realized they could spend and run up fiscal/trade deficits without consequences, and so they did. Oh my.

Then after the fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent looting bu oligarchs the Eurodollar Market, especially in the tax havens , exploded even further as these oligarchs and western investors transferred their stolen loot to these offshore tax havens which were already loaded with dollars from the criminal drug trade (mafia-five eyes) and multinational corporations evading taxes at home

In 1990 the Fed then made it easier for US banks to import and use these Eurodollars by setting a zero reserve requirement (same as Fed Funds) on Eurodollar deposits which they could then loan out at many order of magnitudes. This fueled the great credit and asset bubbles using drug money and stolen Soviet asset money which came in to buy Trumps property and stocks. It also allowed banks to increase credit to cash strapped consumers who felt the pinch of neoliberalism and globalization, since the banks were flush with cheap cash. This led to the Great Collapse in 2008

Added to this Eurodollar supply from 1993 was Chinas own oligarchs growing increasingly rich from US investment/trade and from converting the peoples assets to individual party members who wanted a safe place to hide their loot and evade taxes in China

Quantitative Easing following the crash of 2008 provided another source of a cash influx for the US. Toxic waste from foreign and local banks were bought with USD printed from thin air.

Recent Quantitative Tightening meant trouble though. So Trumps new tax measures made it possible for US corporations to return Eurodollars hidden offshore which is fueling stock buybacks and propping up the market. If not for this a 2008 collapse would be here.

When the next crash happens, I am sure the US will surprise us yet again. Pretty sure the fix will be named Green something or another and a Carbon Dollar/Tax

Posted by: Pft | Mar 9 2019 4:36 utc | 96

What Pres. Trump is doing is a clever ploy to start bringing the troops home as promised. That is his way of announcing the event.

Posted by: Friar Ockham | Mar 9 2019 5:14 utc | 97

@70 english outsider.. i agree with @13 BM... however, the msm in the uk is so warped, maybe they will succeed in marginalizing corbyn.. i thought this article today from jonathan cook was pretty good.. as for the usa being the backbone of europe military and etc.. europe needs to grow a spine themselves and stop taking it in the rear from the usa.. this suggestion from trump is a good place to start by saying no... maybe the poodles are incapable.. that sounds like what you are saying..

@pft... i think i agree with you, although i don't study the financial dynamics enough.. the bailout from 2008 will be followed by more bailouts.. they will just be bigger... that is the name of the game - bust and bailout.. bailing out the banks, until the world asks for something different..

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2019 6:38 utc | 98

Trump May Charge Allies Up To 600% More For Hosting US Troops

Posted by: John Smith | Mar 9 2019 7:12 utc | 99

Trump Asks Germany, Japan To Pay For Being Occupied

That's right. The USA are occupied by Jews. Germany, Japan and many other countries are occcupied by the USA. Allegedly by the United States...

This is Jewish chutzpa. It is really so American. Can someone dispute this statement?

Posted by: John Smith | Mar 9 2019 7:13 utc | 100

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