The administration of United States President Donald Trump is eyeing a plan to seek more money from allied European and other nations where American troops are based.
Several US officials said on Friday that the White House has asked the Defence Department to gather data on the costs of keeping troops in other countries and how much those nations contribute to the expenses. The officials weren’t authorised to publicly discuss internal deliberations and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
President Donald Trump has waged a lengthy, public campaign to get Nato allies to meet the goal of spending 2 per cent of their gross domestic product on defence. And in the last two years, a number of allies have increased their spending.
The officials said this latest effort is along those lines. They said the collection of data could be used in subsequent meetings and discussions to pressure allies to help offset the costs of having US troops within their borders.
National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said that getting US allies to “increase their investment in our collective defence and ensure fairer burden-sharing” has been a long-standing US goal. “The Administration is committed to getting the best deal for the American people,” Marquis said in a statement issued on Friday.
He declined to provide details on any ongoing deliberations.