Trump’s Ambassador Tells Germany to Remember America’s Sacrifices After Refusal to Assist NATO Allies

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has fired a shot across the bows of Angela Merkel’s government over its refusal to participate in a mission to protect shipping from Iranian aggression, highlighting how much Americans have sacrificed for the European country.

German foreign minister Heiko Maas, of the left-wing Social Democratic Party (SPD) which keeps Angela Merkel in office had said that Germany “will not participate in the planned and presented sea mission by the U.S.”

This is in part because they do not want to be seen to support the Trump administration’s strategy of applying “maximum pressure” on Tehran, as Berlin is following the European Union line on trying to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive.

“We are in close co-ordination with our French partners,” Maas added.

Ambassador Richard Grenell has been characteristically forthright in his criticism of the decision, which he has urged Berlin to reconsider.

“America has sacrificed a lot to help Germany stay a part of the West,” he recalled in an interview with the Augsburger Allgemeine in which he made clear reference to Germany’s time under extremist regimes in the 20th century.

“And we currently have 34,000 troops stationed in Germany — that’s billions of dollars spent by the American people,” he added.

Indeed, the large sums of money spent in Germany — and West Germany before it — by forces from the United States, the United Kingdom, and other Western powers in the country during the Cold War and after have added significantly to its economy.

The Germans themselves, meanwhile, were able to benefit for a long stretch of time from not just significant foreign reconstruction funds, but from being able (and sometime required by post-war military restrictions) to skimp on their own defence spending, allowing them to focus during the Cold War on building what is now the largest economy in Europe instead.

The American-led support which allowed Berlin to achieve this “[is] why this success brings with it global responsibilities,” in Ambassador Grenell’s view.   

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