On Wednesday Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced the United States will go forward with President Donald Trump's plan to pull about 12,000 military personnel from Germany. The move received widespread criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.
Former national security advisor and ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice called the move a "special gift" to President Vladimir Putin from Trump and a blow to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—the intergovernmental military alliance between 30 North American and European countries.
A special gift to Putin and a blow to NATO. @realDonaldTrump is not playing on America’s team. US to withdraw n… https://t.co/1uGYCUHgGa— Susan Rice (@Susan Rice) 1596045088.0
But Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse had another word for President Trump's latest initiative.
https://t.co/HVDTJzQ0iN— Guy Benson (@Guy Benson) 1596042737.0
In an official statement, Senator Sasse—who holds a doctorate in American history from Yale University and serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence—stated:
"Once more, now with feeling: U.S. troops aren't stationed around the world as traffic cops or welfare caseworkers—they're restraining the expansionary aims of the world's worst regimes, chiefly China and Russia."
Sasse disparaged Trump's grasp of military purpose and strategy.
"The President's lack of strategic understanding of this issue increases our response time and hinders the important deterrent work our servicemen and women are doing. Maintaining forward presence is cheaper for our taxpayers and safer for our troops."
"Chairman Xi and Vladimir Putin are reckless—and this withdrawal will only embolden them. We should be leading our allies against China and Russia, not abandoning them."
The GOP Senator concluded with:
"Withdrawal is weak."
Sasse was not alone in categorizing Trump as weak.
@brett_mcgurk @gtconway3d Trump is weak with autocrats— Moderate Middle Man (@Moderate Middle Man) 1596060613.0
Others agreed with the assessment that Trump is bowing to Putin.
@guypbenson Trump to Putin: Promises made, promises kept.— N3!L (@N3!L) 1596043153.0
@LDRSHIP2020 @GMenGlenn @guypbenson The last is why Trump’s for it. Doesn’t raise Russia using Taliban, but giving… https://t.co/4zYNYCnKij— jdkahler (@jdkahler) 1596055648.0
@AMFeld @guypbenson Yeah my PhD in American history has taught me a bit about that—the world might be a bit differe… https://t.co/ORv5S6eyUb— LDRSHIP 2020 (@LDRSHIP 2020) 1596053690.0
However a number of people were not willing to overlook the fact that Republican Sasse and his fellow members of the GOP Senate failed to convict the impeached President when given the chance.
In his announcement, Esper conceded Trump's plan will take years to execute, is not supported by the military or intelligence community and will cost billions.