In his first testimony to Congress as acting Pentagon chief, Shanahan called “erroneous” the reports of the proposal to make allies pay more.
Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan shot down reports that the White House may ask allies to pay 150 percent of the costs of basing U.S. forces on their soil, a proposal that has been criticized by lawmakers and former senior defense officials as “a colossal mistake” and “pure idiocy.”
Those reports, which emerged late last week, are “erroneous,” Shanahan told the Senate Armed Forces Committee in his first appearance before Congress as the acting head of the Pentagon.
“We won’t do cost-plus-50,” Shanahan said, using a common shorthand for the alleged proposal. “We’re not going to run a business and we’re not going to run a charity. The important part is that people pay their fair share.”
President Trump has long publicly complained about the expense of basing U.S. troops overseas and has insisted repeatedly that allies contribute more towards the hosting them. In February, Washington and Seoul struck an agreementincreasing South Korea’s share of maintaining the 28,500 troops on the peninsula by almost 10 percent — far short of what Trump had asked for, but resolving fears, at least for a year, that he would unilaterally order their removal.
Shanahan’s remarks were the Trump administration’s first public denial of the proposal since it was first reported by Bloomberg on Friday, almost a week ago….
image…US Troop’s marching in Germany…Military Times.Com