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Trump Doctrine? Peeving allies & trashing US empire

16 5 15

The foreign policy wonks haven’t yet come up with a defining policy feature for a Trump Doctrine. But we may suggest the following: scoring own goals to unwittingly alienate allies and undermine US global power.

Trump’s presidency stands out for the rapidity with which supposed allies have become leery of, if not outright peeved by, American power. That, in turn, has served to erode Washington’s global standing as a presumed leader.

The latest own goal is Trump’s plan to ramp up demands for allies to pay the cost of hosting US troops on their territories. The new accounting arrangement has not yet been officially announced by the White House, but allies have got wind of the changes in store.

The president reportedly wants to charge nations the full cost of accommodating American military personnel, plus a 50 percent surcharge. Trump calls it the “cost plus 50” formula.

The idea is said to have “struck fear in the hearts of US allies who view it as extortionate.”

Japan, Germany and South Korea are particularly concerned about being hit with massive bills for hosting large American bases. Japan has some 54,000 US troops on its territory. Germany and South Korea have over 20,000 military personnel. Those countries already pay part-expenses for running the US bases, but if Trump’s “cost plus 50” formula is implemented, their bills could be multiplied five-fold, amounting to billions of extra dollars.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is already known to be irritated with the Trump administration over its perceived bullying regarding demands on Berlin to boost military spending on the NATO alliance. Trump wants Germany and other European members of the military bloc to double annual expenditures.

His relentless browbeating and sniping at European allies for “freeloading” off American military protection has been........

© RT.com