Sorry, but I’m hijacking your comment for visibility because something seemed wrong with the article. Basically, I was under the impression this was actually a pretty common place practice, and was surprised with no one adding in that context in the comment section. I found a really pertinent article from 2016.
Essentially, one of Trumps gripes from back then was that the US wasn’t being paid for military support. This isn’t a new strategy, and unfortunately the rolling stone article doesn’t go into how he plans to use these troops.
Interestingly the 2016 article notes that Trump believed foreign countries didn’t reimburse the US for its military support, which was false. If you look at his words from a political perspective, Trump is trying to take credit for an existing policy to frame him as a deal maker. It’s still bullshit, far less infuriating bull shit.
The real analysis is for how he plans to use these troops and this policy. The 2016 article pointed out that 2 billion dollars paid for about 1/3 to half of US troops. I don’t know how many troops are in the Saudi Arabia or Japan, but it doesn’t sound the US typically makes a return on sending soldiers overseas. So again, not mercenaries, just a bumbling idiot trying to take credit for essentially doing nothing. Now, will Trump use this irresponsibly? I feel like I’m not the one to answer this question, but I’m leaning that the US won’t be making a profit of US soldiers any time soon.
Just a heads up I’m a liberal leaning libertarian and I don’t have a background in political science, so consider everything I say from that bias.
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