The U.S. is moving toward a rupture with two important allies, South Korea and Japan.
Already, President Trump has reportedly demanded a five-fold increase in the amount South Korea pays toward the cost of stationing U.S. forces there, raising the amount to $5 billion a year. Reports suggest that Washington is likely to seek a similar increase from Tokyo to support the cost of U.S. troops based there in next year’s negotiations.
For decades, Trump has derided America’s allies as “free-riders” who don’t pull their own weight. That is an inaccurate depiction of the large contributions provided to the U.S. by South Korea and Japan over the decades.