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Washington May Demand Countries Hosting U.S. Troops Pay Full Costs, Plus Premium

U.S. President Donald Trump has complained that U.S. allies are not contributing enough to their own defense. (file photo)

The U.S. administration is considering a plan to demand that countries hosting American troops pay the full cost of their deployment -- plus a premium for the privilege of having them there, U.S. media outlets report.

Bloomberg News and the Associated Press, quoting several administration officials and people briefed on the matter, said on March 8 that the administration has asked the Defense Department to assemble data on the costs of keeping troops in other countries and the amount host nations pay.

The news agencies said the officials were speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis did not comment directly on the reports, but he said that getting allies to "increase their investment in our collective defense and ensure fairer burden-sharing" has long been a goal of the U.S. government.

President Donald Trump has complained that U.S. allies, including those in NATO, are not contributing enough to their own defense and burdening U.S. taxpayers with the costs.

As part of the proposed policy, some nations hosting U.S. troops could be asked to pay five to six times as much as they do now under the "Cost Plus 50" formula, suggesting a premium of 50 percent of the actual cost for having the troops on their soil.

U.S. troops have a presence in most NATO countries, but they have had large bases in countries such as Germany, Italy, Britain, Japan, and Italy since the end of World War II and later in countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain.

Based on reporting by AP and Bloomberg