US Mulls Moving Forces from Germany: Part of a Wider Process

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Written by Alex Gorka; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org

The US Defense Department is exploring the option of withdrawal or transfer of US forces from Germany to Poland. The Washington Post (WP) reported that the costs and implications are being analyzed. On July 5, the White House said it had no such plans but there is no smoke without fire, otherwise why should Poland make an offer to pay $2 billion for an American base on its soil and do it now? The US Air Force began flying unarmed MQ-9 Reaper drones from Miroslawiec Air Base, Poland, in May.

US Mulls Moving Forces from Germany: Part of a Wider Process

Photo by Juan R. Meléndez Jr.; Aug. 5, 2008

“My statement on NATO being obsolete and disproportionately too expensive (and unfair) for the U.S. are now, finally, receiving plaudits,” Trump tweeted during his 2016 presidential campaign. He frequently expressed his frustration over the allies’ failure to abide by the unanimously agreed 2%-of-GDP defense-spending level. The WP report says President Donald Trump reportedly mulled the idea of full or partial withdrawal from Germany in early 2017.

The president has recently sounded very critical of the German chancellor. He is frustrated with her position on a range of issues, including contribution into the NATO collective defense.

Higher military spending is unpopular with German voters. The recent meeting of National Security Adviser John Bolton with German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen was quite disappointing for the United States as it was made clear that no substantial increase of German defense expenditure is in sight. German budget projections called for increasing it to 1.5 percent of the country’s GDP only by 2024. Actually Germany refuses to abide by NATO commitment to spend at least 2% on its military.

Saving money? Germany pays a fair share of the costs related to the stationing of US troops and the bases are used by Americans for operations conducted outside Europe. For instance, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. Providing an impetus to US defense industry? Hardly so, Europe has a powerful military-industrial complex of its own.

And the idea of moving the forces comes at the time the Europe is balancing on the verge of break-up. The West has never been so divided since WWII. The European political and military landscape is being reshaped. This is the right moment to take advantage of Europe’s weaknesses. Security dependence on the US can be used as leverage to force concessions in other areas, such as trade.

Being part of the collective West is not what President Trump strives for. As an isolationist, he believes in independence and the way to achieve it is to promote the interests of national state, not a group of countries united into an alliance. American national sovereignty is achievable through a united West’s break-up to make it reshaped into a new alliance led by the United States government instead of a supranational body where America enjoys a strong position but not absolute control. President Trump wants Europe to be economically dependent on America while the US would be paddling its own canoe with no international obligations to shoulder.

The US does not need a strong Europe able to challenge it. Brexit, migrants, the controversial Polish judiciary reforms and a range of other problems dividing the Old Continent to make it weaker meet America’s interests. President Trump offered President Macron what he thought was a better trade deal if France leaves the EU. That’s why Germany, Europe’s economic locomotive, is under constant pressure, be it the Nord Stream-2 gas project with Russia or its reluctance to end trade with Iran. If Germany responds to the challenge, it’ll have to assume responsibility for its own security as well as the security of those who will remain faithful to the idea of European integration. Before the upcoming NATO summit, the chancellor came out in support of President Macron’s initiative to create a European expeditionary force. This is a first step on the way.

Then Europe will have to reconsider its relations with Russia. It’ll need to make it part of a European security project. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the current German President, launched a European arms control initiative in 2016 when he was foreign minister. He proposed to set differences aside and buckle down on achieving a new security treaty to make Europe a safer place. With the US out, a new agreement becomes quite possible. Then the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Germany-led group of European states could launch a joint project on fending off the terrorist threat together. Great Britain could join as a member of the recently agreed on new European Intervention Initiative (EII). After all, Russia and the EU have experience of joint peacekeeping operation in Chad and naval patrols to fight Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean.

Going separate ways is not always a bad thing. The US will get rid of free riders. Europeans will be sovereign enough to decide how much they have to spend on defense and other things. They will have a chance to address the real threats to their security, such as the migrants’ problem, and not the ones Washington tells them to focus on. Russia will not be needed to be a bogey keeping together the “Western unity” bursting at the seams. A Germany-led European alliance and Russia could launch a new détente. There will be no losers and everyone will win. The only thing that’s certain is that a new security pattern is emerging in the world and the process is unstoppable.

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  • Wise Gandalf

    tales

  • Smaug

    NATO needs reorganized, it was built around the Cold War era and modern conflicts aren’t quite the same. However, a neo-NATO organization will have most of its original members and treaties.
    Similarly our bases in what was West Germany are obsolete because new conflicts have no defined boundaries and are stretched thin across all Eastern Europe. Which is why new plans call for the main armies to be placed near Gdansk and Warsaw inside NATO member Poland.
    The EU’s failure, however, is simply the confederation was not truly one state but many, and supporters of Brexit primarily complained about paying for monetary systems they don’t benefit from because Britain is wealthier than most EU states. Similarly the EU is slow to respond to crisis because of conflicting region interests.

    • Wise Gandalf

      We need no more NATO, we need United States of Europe. With own strong army, all classes of mass destroying weapons.

      Israel delenda est!

      • Smaug

        I beginning someone just hacked this dude’s account.

        • Barba_Papa

          Or an attempt at pulling off epic trolling?

    • Rodger

      There is no crisis. The UK doesn’t want a strong EU, it wants a strong UK and a disorganised Europe. It has been like that for some 300 years. It was only in the EU to sabotage it from within. Brexit is the best thing that has ever happened to the EU.

      • Smaug

        That’s a weird thing to say, because the most recent major dispute in the EU is how to budget themselves now that their largest member is leaving. England is an island and has ships so that many of their interests are overseas to the point that they are more closely allied with their former colonies around the world than they are Europe. Brexit does remove one of many conflicts of interests but it also downsizes the EU.

  • FlorianGeyer

    Its about time that the US ‘occupation forces ‘ left Germany any way. Few Germans want them there now.

    • as

      Ironically the US nuclear weapon stored there were what make the bundeswehr got such big nose attitude.

    • Peter Moy

      Today’s mood about the US military in their country hasn’t changed since I was there way back in 1986. My US Army unit deployed there from middle America for the annual NATO exercise REFORGER 86 (Return Of Forces To Germany 1986). I speak and understand enough German to not be a stereotypical American arrogant moron (excuse me, do you speak English?) and recall several instances of suppressed anger and ridicule from local German civilians. The few British and Canadian troops I encountered were just as clueless, arrogant and downright dumb as we were. (Side note: Upon arrival at the airport in Stuttgart, I did manage to shake hands with the Oberburgermeister Manfred Rommel, yes the son of the World War II field marshal).

      • FlorianGeyer

        Sadly it is the ignorant , in both senses of the word , that have controlled the UK and US for far too long. This period of philistinism will end as events unfold but will there be sufficient numbers cultured and knowledgeable citizens in the UK and US to lead our countries out of the moral and dishonest direction that is currently destroying the very fabric of our nations ?

      • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

        The only problem is they are only redeploying into smaller bases and reducing numbers there as they are creating an EU army to replace US forces. This is a good idea since they can start reducing number of bases world wide and reducing frivolous expenses in maintaining bases.

      • Rodger

        Americans are always welcome in Europe, American politics not so much these days.

  • alejoeisabel

    Poland is broke, and its going to pay for US/Nato occupation? Poland will take out a military loan from the US, and we will cancel that debt. This is similar to our “loan” guarantees that we give Israel. Israel has never paid back a “loan” because its backed by American taxpayers.

    • Rodger

      Poland receives some 15 billion from the EU (might say Germany) each year in free money.

  • Brother Ma

    All good but most countries in Europe distrust Germany being the leader of anything.

    • Tommy Jensen

      Its the economy stupid. Unfortunately.

  • RichardD

    Trump has been throwing bones to the evil Jew pedophile rape cultists to keep them from throwing him out of office. Most Americans disapprove of this, myself included. Cancelling the Iran deal and moving the embassy wasn’t supported by the American people. And neither is giving money to the Jews.

    What needs to be done is to get rid of 6 million American Jews by outlawing their evil criminal organization, closing it’s facilities, confiscating it’s assets, and imprisoning Jew criminals.

    Much of the America First platform that Trump ran on that is supported by most Americans is diametrically opposed to what the vermin Jew are trying to do with their parasitical disease Jew world order hegemony drive using America and the NATO UNSC Jew P3 as their stalking horse. This needs to end and the way to do it is to dejudify the planet to create a Jew free world that will be much better for humanity. Including former Jews.

    Europe and China would be much better off in the Eurasian Economic Union, which makes a lot of geographic sense:

    “the member states decided to seek a purely economic union, having concerns about keeping their independence and sovereignty intact.”

    – Eurasian Economic Union –

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Economic_Union

    Which is what the EU started out as before it morphed into a political union.

    The EEU doesn’t have to compete with the SCO, which has a military component. Or the Belt and Road Initiative, which is primarily a transportation project.

    What we really need is a paradigm shift into a sequestered and off planet import technology upgrade to eliminate poverty, taxation, pollution, environmental degradation and extend lifespans with an improved quality of life for everyone. Until that happens, and it’s already happening to a limited extent, current structures need to be upgraded and new ones put in place that will constructively serve the needs of mankind.

  • Peter Moy

    The fact is and will be for many years to come that Germany is a colony of the US and staging area for military aggression in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Any increased military spending by Germany is only to satisfy their master. Years ago, there was a saying that basically said: The Americans are in Germany to keep the Germans down and the Russians out.” So keep pushing to the east you despicable idiots and butchers at the Pentagon.

  • The Farney Fontenoy

    Hmmm could this be in preparation for the coming war in Europe? The US would be in a tight spot with 1000s of American soldiers in a warzone where it has no intention of fighting, best bring them out now!

  • Tommy Jensen

    EU have still many internal problems with refugees and its bureaucrats travelling between EU´s offices and Tusk is still raising questions nobody have answered yet.

    In this situation it can be said to be safe to move US capabilities to East where they have a more central position to influence the pressure on ME and containment of Russia.