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Trump’s Plan to Pull U.S. Troops Angers German Politicians, Media

Trump’s Plan to Pull U.S. Troops Angers German Politicians, Media

President Trump slams “delinquent” Germany: “We’re reducing the force because they’re not paying their bills.”

U.S. President Donald Trump has angered many German politicians and media commentators with his decision to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany. Defense Secretary Mark Esper laid out the plan on Wednesday.

Under the proposed pull-out, close to 6,400 troops will return to the U.S. and another 5,400 redeployed within Europe. 

The withdrawal plan presented by Esper foresees more significant cuts than expected. The current pull-out of 12,000 troops amounts to a third the 36,000-strong U.S. military contingent in Germany, the Wall Street Journal, and other U.S. news outlets reported. The U.S. is also relocating its European military command from Stuttgart, Germany, to Mons, Belgium. 

The U.S. decision comes after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government repeatedly reneged on the promises to pay two-percent of the NATO defense spending. Berlin is “delinquent” in its defense contributions, President Trump told reporters on Wednesday.

“They’re there to protect Europe. They’re there to protect Germany, right?” he added. “Germany’s not paying for it. We don’t want to be the suckers any more. The United States has been taken advantage of for 25 years, both on trade and on the military. So we’re reducing the force because they’re not paying their bills.”

German media made much about the opposition to the withdrawal plan in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

“The resistance [to the move] has already built up among Trump’s own Republicans and Democrats,” German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle claimed.  

Many German news outlets prominently quoted Republican senator Mitt Romney remarks opposing the troop withdrawal. Public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk quoted Romney for calling the decision a “grave mistake” and a “slap in the face at a friend.”

They also pinned their hopes on a Joe Biden victory in the coming presidential election. Biden campaign promised a ‘review’ of the troop relocation if their candidate wins in November. German newspaper Nürnberger Nachrichten gleefully reported: “If Trump loses the election, the plans can be put on ice.”

“Trump’s plans are first and foremost campaign rhetoric,” the leading German public broadcaster ARD commented dismissing the U.S. presidential decision. 

Chancellor Merkel’s possible successor in the ruling Christian Democratic Party, Friedrich Merz, called it a “renewed wake-up call Europe.” In recent years, many EU and German politicians have toyed with the idea of a centralized European army

The state-run Deutsche Welle News on Wednesday reported German political response to the U.S. troop withdrawal: 

Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder criticized the US withdrawal plan, adding that it served no clear military purpose and would even weaken the NATO alliance and the US itself.

“Unfortunately, this puts a burden on the German-American relationship,” Söder said.

“We are now waiting to see if the decision will last,” he added, in reference to the US presidential election in November.

Last week, Söder had joined the state premiers of Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Rheinland-Palatinate in a letter to members of the US Senate and Congress pleading for a stop to the plan, saying the troops formed “the backbone of US presence in Europe and NATO’s ability to act.”

“We therefore ask you to support us as we strive not to sever the bond of friendship but to strengthen it, and to secure the US presence in Germany and Europe in the future,” the German politicians said.

Green party opposition politician Jürgen Trittin, who sits on the foreign affairs committee in parliament, told DW he believed the real motivation was not military or defense policy: “It’s more a part of the economic warfare Donald Trump is fighting against the European Union and especially the Germans,” Trittin alleged, calling for Germany to cancel plans to purchase new F-18 fighter jets from the US in response.

Most of the troops who will leave are stationed in southern Germany.

“Stuttgart will feel the loss of American purchasing power,” the Lord Mayor of the southern German city Fritz Kuhn noted, pointing to the absence of U.S. military and civilian employees in the future.

Aiming at the U.S. leader, he added: “U.S. president doesn’t care much about diplomatic customs and — allow me to say — he doesn’t understand much of it.”

Bavarian politicians at the city and municipal level are “hoping for a Trump defeat” in the U.S. presidential election, Die Süddeutsche Zeitung reported

“If [the withdrawal] takes place, it will be very troubling for the region,” the mayor of Vilsecks Hans-Martin Schertl was quoted in the [local newspaper] Gruppe Oberpfalz-Medien. (…)

The hopes are rested on the election day in the U.S.; if President Donald Trump loses, the chances are great that the withdrawal plans will be shelved. His counterpart in the neighboring Grafenwöhr also believes that. According to mayor Edgar Knobloch in a city of 6500, more than 10000 soldiers are stationed. He too stresses the enormous economic factor connected to the troop presence in the region. [Bavaria’s] state premier Söder says that the decision will strain German-US relations and hit the local communities hard. “We will wait and see if the decision is a permanent one.” (Translated by the author) 

Washington’s decision comes as Berlin depletes its military preparedness. A 2019 German parliamentary report found that “less than 50 percent of the Bundeswehr tanks, ships and aircraft were available at any one time.” In recent years, Chancellor Merkel’s government has been busy converting military barracks into migrant housing and running re-education programs for its top military brass on gender and sexuality. 

While Germany refuses to pay its agreed share year after year, U.S. taxpayers are left to shoulder the lion’s share of NATO budget. The U.S. accounts for 70 percent of the combined defense spending within the NATO alliance, latest figures show.

[Cover image via YouTube] [Excerpts from German media reports translated by the author]

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Comments

The USA is getting out of the Global Management Business. We will no longer spend American blood and treasure to make prhers behave and play nice.

Notice we are not paying Ethiopia and Egypt to stand down.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to MattMusson. | July 31, 2020 at 10:13 am

    Has Twitter censored Merkel yet?

    Twitter Defends Censoring Trump,

    Allows Iranian Leader To Call For Israel’s ‘Genocide’

    – Weazil Zippers today

The reduction in American forces in Germany is long overdue. Of course Germany, a horribly run Country, is still steeped in thinking the country that defeated them in their effort to take over the world owes them… still… Why should American dollars and service people contribute not only to their defense but also to their local economy when they pocket the costs agreed to?

I heard a breathless report that relocation of those forces will cost us billions. I sincerely doubt that is true, but even if it does, it will save us billions more and will stop the bleed of taxpayer dollars to a country that has done great harm to the world, both in the past and in the future from the immigration policies of Merkel.

    Tom Servo in reply to oldgoat36. | July 31, 2020 at 8:09 am

    It’s inevitable that whenever *any* form of government spending is cut, the MSM will invariably run a piece saying “This is terrible! It is going to cost us far too much to ever spend any less!!!”

    Why do we still have troops in Germany? What is their purpose? Russia is not coming through the Fulda gap, the bases should have been closed in 1990.

      bobtuba in reply to Tom Servo. | July 31, 2020 at 11:03 am

      MANY were. I was there. There was a joke going around that you can’t close a base until the new Commissary under construction was finished. But it wasn’t a joke, it was true. I spent 27 years in Europe, and my service history is one of closed bases, with the exception of Ramstein. They should close that one, too. They hate us, they really do. Why should we contribute to their defense and economy?

        zennyfan in reply to bobtuba. | July 31, 2020 at 5:56 pm

        Apparently, we owe the Germans (and other nations long overdue for a troop withdrawal) not only a defense but also U.S. spending power to boost local economies around the bases. As the Filipinos learned to their economic detriment with Naval Base Subic Bay, Americans can be abused only so far.

          henrybowman in reply to zennyfan. | July 31, 2020 at 8:41 pm

          How many more years are we going to rattle this saber and still not pull it? These bases should have been closed long ago.

    johnny dollar in reply to oldgoat36. | July 31, 2020 at 9:49 am

    When the Berlin wall fell in 1991, I thought at the time it would have been the ideal moment to declare victory in the Cold War, and depart from Western Europe, save for a token presence in the UK as a warning to the Germans and the Russians that we still were capable of responding as necessary.
    I was also in favor of a “tripwire” presence in Poland, just to let both of the above parties know that another invasion of Poland, such as the one they jointly staged in 1939, would result in war with the US. Just a few thousand troops near each border would have sufficed to send this message.
    Instead, in service to the axiom that “No government program ever ends”, we have lingered there for another 20 years and managed to involve ourselves in an endless series of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    George Washington had it right: Beware of foreign entanglements.

” “U.S. president doesn’t care much about diplomatic customs and — allow me to say — he doesn’t understand much of it.””

It is a diplomatic custom to accept being saps for lying deadbeats? Who is one who doesn’t understand? Take your whining to Russia. And buy Israeli natural gas!

“Many German news outlets prominently quoted Republican senator Mitt Romney remarks opposing the troop withdrawal. “

In a perfect world, Mitt Romney would be a reporter for the New York Times sipping adult beverages in the Algonquin.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to stablesort. | July 31, 2020 at 9:32 am

    In a perfect world Mittens would be communist Chinese.

    Oops looks like he already is……

“How dare you stop spending US taxpayer money on our behalf”

The hopes are rested on the election day in the U.S.; if President Donald Trump loses, the chances are great that the withdrawal plans will be shelved.

These people don’t know the Dimocrats very well, do they?
Paraphrasing Blimpy: “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday, for an election today.”

Then, when Tuesday comes, “On second thought, we’d rather spend our money on LGBT issues, than your defense. Sorry, Germany.”

    rinardman in reply to rinardman. | July 31, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Blimpy? Where’d that come from?

    I meant Wimpy, of course.

    Paul in reply to rinardman. | July 31, 2020 at 9:55 am

    And by “LGBT issues” I expect you mean various woke special interest groups, which turn around and funnel large portions of that public money back into Dim campaign coffers, where it gets spent living high-on-the-hog and re-electing the grifters.

    Yep, that’s their racket all right.

Chancellor Merkel’s possible successor in the ruling Christian Democratic Party, Friedrich Merz, ” Fred Merz? From I Love Lucy? Must be his Grand-son, or something…

2smartforlibs | July 31, 2020 at 8:41 am

A socialist utopia is a lot harder to maintain when you have to pay your own way.

I like this one: “(The)U.S. president doesn’t care much about diplomatic customs and — allow me to say — he doesn’t understand much of it.”

The only “diplomatic customs” we have with Germany are their terms of surrender….twice.

Pull them ALL out. Let Angela deal with the political fallout.

    henrybowman in reply to mrtoad21. | July 31, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    They have a lot of young, healthy, military-age men who recently took up residence. They should be more than happy to protect Germans from predation. Especially since German history and culture practically demands they put the Fuchs in charge of the Hühnerstall.

      randian in reply to henrybowman. | July 31, 2020 at 9:16 pm

      They have a lot of young, healthy, military-age men who recently took up residence. They should be more than happy to protect Germans from predation.

      Sarcasm, I assume.

We should remove every service member from the corrupt country of Germany. Close the bases.

And since President Trump is such buddy buddy with Pukin, maybe tell him to just take the german country.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Barry. | July 31, 2020 at 10:27 am

    I wonder how long it will take before the Left claims that this is Trump paying back for Putin’s help in winning the election: pulling the troops out giving Putin access to Germany.

    The Dems have bitched about our military being deployed everywhere since the 1960s… and now we will see a reverse course because they think it will help them in November. And then after that they will say “just kidding”, bring ’em home.

Germany systematically teaches it’s children to hate the US. Screw them, let them pay for their own defense.

“Green party opposition politician Jürgen Trittin, who sits on the foreign affairs committee in parliament, told DW he believed the real motivation was not military or defense policy: “It’s more a part of the economic warfare Donald Trump is fighting against the European Union and especially the Germans,” Trittin alleged, calling for Germany to cancel plans to purchase new F-18 fighter jets from the US in response.”

I am old enough to remember when the Green Party demanded the removal of all American troops and weapons systems from Europe.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Recovering Lutheran. | July 31, 2020 at 11:35 am

    I agree — the Germans should not be buying any F-18s.

    And we shouldn’t sell them any F-35s, either.

    They can buy Eurofighters. Good aircraft. Then they can figure out how to support and maintain them. Given that their country can’t keep other parts of their military working, this should be interesting.

    Eurofighters or F-18s, within a year half of them will be grounded for maintenance.

    Too true, in fact didn’t the time period when we had access to Russian Intel records post-wall confirm the German Green Party was in the Kremlins pay?

    I was stationed in West Berlin during the Carter/Reagan period, Berlin was a bit schizoid about the presence of GIs – the longtime residents still remembered when the Russian occupiers raped every female between the age of 6 and 60. More recent residents (West Berlin was the only place in West German jurisdiction where you were exempt from the Draft.) totally loved their eastern comaradan and bought into the whole peaceful USSR bit.

    I mostly worked out of the Tuefellsberg (Devils Mountain) instalation – which had an interesting history. Post WWII, the Berlin equivalent on NYs grand Central Park became the disposal site for all the rubble that needed to be moved to rebuild the western allied part of the city. I believe it was the worlds largest artificial mountain – actually had a ski slope on the back end. On a clear day from the rooftop you could see another (natural) mountain that was in Poland. Pretty sure it was the worlds largest mass grave site – lots of bombing (and artillery) victims never recovered. Any way, they built this mass pile of rubble, covered it in top soil, and planted trees and shruberies. Later on, the top most portion was allocated to the military (US and Brits) for their use. The complexes highest point has three geodesic radar-type domes one on each side and one on the top of a multi-story round tower – so naturally the locals called it “the big [email protected] in the sky”.

    Anyhow, there was where I first learned how crazy/stupid liberals (and The Green Party in particular) can get. The installation had a security fence, and patrolling guards. To keep out spies and such, but day to day it also kept out the Wild Boars that roamed the parkland (Germany is different). Trees doing as trees do, eventually it came time to cut some down to keep the perimeter clear and usable for security. Oh dear. Mass demonstrations ensued – supposedly to protect the “endangered” trees (which were artificially planted) on the natural setting (which was artificially created). Fortunately this was the 1980s not the 2020s, so the crazies didn’t get their way back then.

The Friendly Grizzly | July 31, 2020 at 9:59 am

After pulling the troops, let’s twist the knife even more. Redo the US tax code to tighten up the deductability of vehicle leases. BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and Porsche will need to close half their automobile factories. Doctors, dentists, lawyers, and others will now need to pay for their own vehicles, not the US taxpayers who have to take up the slack for all those deductions.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | July 31, 2020 at 10:18 am

    I read the reason why everyone is leasing and why used German autos are dirt cheap afterwards is because their quality has gone to Hell.

    Leasing means the German auto companies have to pay for their defects.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | July 31, 2020 at 10:31 am

      German cars never were “all that”. My brother was partners in a BMW dealership back before anyone knew what a BMW was. They wre trash even then. When I was in college VW Beetles (the real ones, not the Golf-based ones) were all the rage. Oh, so great, but, at the dorm on weekends, you saw people doing this or that maintenance, or tweak, or repair while owners of thrashed-out old American iron were off to be beach or the mountains. One of my clasmates noticed thie. It had been his intention to buy a beetle; he’d been scrimping and saving part-time job money to do it. When he had enough money, he did some thinking and observing. He came back to the dorm in a Plymouth Valiant 100, 3 on the tree and an AM radio. $61 more than the bug, but he had the better car if one looked past the reputation and looked at REALITY.

      German Engineering: using 347 parts to do a 29-part task.

        That is one of the main reason the Germans got beat in WW2. The Americans could build three Sherman tanks to one of theirs. Plus the Sherman could break down or be damaged in a battle and be repaired and ready for service in three days. It took the Germans a week to just change the oil.

          Barry in reply to Stan25. | July 31, 2020 at 4:28 pm

          The smaller, lighter, more maneuverable American tanks could get to the best position first and that turned out to be more important than anything else to determine who would prevail.

Sorry Germany, we’re no longer going to borrow money to defend you. Best of luck… DJT

MoeHowardwasright | July 31, 2020 at 10:21 am

The Germans are more concerned with the loss of economic activity from the soldiers then they are with the loss of soldiers insuring the peace. Besides, any conflict is going to be mainly air oriented and not ground. We can mount air strikes from Poland or England. Move the ground troops to Poland and the Ukraine. Quite frankly, GFY Merkel.

The only thing Trump got wrong is the length of time that Germany has taken advantage of us. More like 50 years, maybe longer. This is way overdue.

Antifundamentalist | July 31, 2020 at 10:55 am

Of Course, since the Orange Man is BAD and can do nothing right, those people who have been screaming for reductions in military forces are going to abruptly change course and declare that we should not be reducing our presence in Germany.

stevewhitemd | July 31, 2020 at 11:08 am

If Germany is unwilling to defend itself why should we do so?

Germany isn’t willing to spend on its own defense. They continue to cut spending and now is well under 2% of GDP. It turns out that that is a rational decision. Why? Because — get ready — Germany doesn’t perceive any significant threats to its national security. And as it turns out, they’re correct in that assessment.

Who threatens Germany? Certainly not Russia; Germany is buying natural gas from Russia. Germany and Russia are major trading partners; they profit from each other. If there was to be a war that would stop, and both the Germany economy and their war machine would crash. Germany is NOT going to war with Russia. This of course means that if NATO were to end up going to war with Russia, we’d do so without Germany. The Germans are signaling that very clearly.

Who else threatens the natural sovereignty of Germany? NO ONE. Not France. Not Austria. Not any of Germany’s traditional enemies. They’re all now friends and economic partners. And Germany (unlike the U.S.) has no commitments outside of Europe that requires a military.

So Germany actually is correct in their assessment — why spend on something you don’t need?

All this is in the end is the same whining we hear from any district in the U.S. that loses a military base. Sometimes the kvetching works, sometimes it doesn’t. But Germany doesn’t have the same right to kvetch to our Congress as our own citizens do.

Trump is right but not for the reason he’s stating — he accuses the Germans of being deadbeats, which they are, but that isn’t important. Trump is right to pull our forces from Germany for the simplest reason — Germay doesn’t NEED us anymore. The Soviet Union is gone. Russia isn’t a threat to Germany.

Poland, of course, has a different assessment. And that’s where our troops should go.

    randian in reply to stevewhitemd. | July 31, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    The actual threat to German and French sovereignty is Islam. Give it 10 to 20 years and they will attempt a takeover, as Islamic populations have always done throughout history, in accordance with Muhammad’s command.

What is the USA defending Germany from? It appears Germany is surrendering as rapidly as it can to the global Marxists. It is to Germany’s benefit to drain US dollars for nothing other than to weaken us while supporting part of their collapsing culture.

I was in Germany a few years ago, and they made no attempt to show how much they despise Americans. Time to stop Europe from free loading and pay their share–if they have to pay their share of military defense, they’re going to find out it’s a whole lot harder to pay for medical care for all, extended vacations, etc.

Aw look who’s gone all militaristic and war like now. Pick a lane.

Freaking despise germans

Stuttgart will feel the loss of American purchasing power,” the Lord Mayor of the southern German city Fritz Kuhn noted, pointing to the absence of U.S. military and civilian employees in the future.

Them it begs the question, why isn’t the Lord Mayor asking the German government to do something, like, I don’t know, maybe pay their share of the NATO bill? That would keep all that purchasing power right where they want it, while at the same time providing the military protection they expect the US to provide.

Kind of a no brainer, I would think.

The Germans are mad at us because we won’t spend our money on their defense when they refuse to spend what they have promised! Hypocrisy rules. They refuse to address Trump’s argument. We should pull all of our forces from Germany after Trump is re-elected.

Germany is going to become a Muslim state ruled by Sharia anyway.

All that USA taxpayer money that the servicemen spend in Germany is being replaced by the resource sucking migrants from the middle east and north africa.

US troops in Germany made sense in 1979 when I enlisted. But it’s 2020 and Russia has little capacity or interest in sending troops into Germany to take it. The Cold War is long over, the Soviet Empire is gone and, at this point, the Oligiarch’s just want to make money and Putin just wants to stay in power.

The Russians unloaded east Germany on the west Germans who now have Merkel.

I think the Russians won.

the bet thing that could happen, would be to move the bases to Hungry and Poland

So, what’s the likelihood of Germany invading Poland, Czechia, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxemburg, Belgium, the Netherlands, or Denmark anytime soon? What’s the likelihood of those states attacking Germany? We’ve come a long way from the time when the uSa divisions on the border of Bavaria and Thuringia referred to themselves as “the Soviet speed bump”.

Of course, the closing of a US base in Germany is probably as disastrous for some town over there as the closing of a military base would be domestically in the USA.

How is it that DW characterizes our withdrawl as “A Gift to the Kremlin” while ignoring Nordstream, a very great and generous “Gift to the Kremlin?”

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

Can’t we just send David Hasselhoff over there to protect them?

If Russia were to invade Turkey from the rear, do you think Greece would help?

Unknown3rdParty | August 2, 2020 at 9:10 am

“Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder criticized the US withdrawal plan, adding that it served no clear military purpose and would even weaken the NATO alliance and the US itself.”

Actually, Germany has spent years weakening the NATO alliance by being lax on paying their dues; Trump called them on it. Now, here’s Germany’s wake-up call: The United States is NOT your personal police force. It is not NATOs police force. NATO is a UN construct. The Germans want protection. Guess what? You’ve already disarmed your own people; learn to protect yourselves.

As far as the United States is concerned, we need to get the US out of the UN, and we need to get the UN out of the US.

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