The Donald Trump campaign is particularly big on “making America great again.” But does the Donald mean the same thing by that phrase that I mean? Yo, Mr. Trump: We have 50,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen stationed in Japan; 38,000 in Germany; 28,000 in South Korea; 12,000 in Italy for crying out loud. You OK with those numbers, Mr. Trump? Hello? I wish someone would ask him.
It’s not a full-fledged answer to his questions, but in Trump’s campaign book, Crippled America, he writes (p34/35):
We defend Germany. We defend Japan. We defend South Korea. These are powerful and wealthy countries. We get nothing from them.
It’s time to change all that. It’s time to win again.
We’ve got 28,500 wonderful American soldiers on South Korea’s border with North Korea. They’re in harm’s way every single day. They’re the only thing that is protecting South Korea. And what do we get from South Korea for it? They sell us products–at a nice profit. They compete with us.
How stupid are we?!
We’re spending trillions of dollars to safeguard other countries. We’re paying for the privilege of fighting their battles. It makes no sense to me.
To put these excerpts in context, Trump doesn’t necessarily call for a draw down in overseas deployments, but strongly insinuates that if the US isn’t compensated an amount commensurate with what it costs us to maintain those overseas deployments, they aren’t worth it.