Trump's Order to Pull Troops From Germany Alarms European Allies

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  texan1211  •  one month ago  •  38 comments

By:   MSN

Trump's Order to Pull Troops From Germany Alarms European Allies
U.S. allies in Europe expressed dismay over President Trump's plan to slash the number of American troops in Germany by more than a quarter, saying it undermined NATO and boosted adversaries such as Russia.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


© peter nicholls/Reuters

U.S. allies in Europe expressed dismay over President Trump's plan to slash the number of American troops in Germany by more than a quarter, saying it undermined NATO and boosted adversaries such as Russia.

Mr. Trump's order, reported by The Wall Street Journal on Friday, surprised allies, who hadn't been officially informed, according to European diplomats. The proposed cut to 25,000 from 34,500 would reverse recent increases in U.S. troops in Europe designed to deter Russia, which invaded Ukraine in 2014 and has bolstered armed forces on its western flank.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany would take note of the decision, if confirmed. "We value the cooperation with U.S. armed forces, which has grow over decades," he told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "They are in the interests of both our countries."

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Asked about German relations with the U.S., he replied: "It's complicated."

Allies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the German Parliament assailed Mr. Trump more forcefully.

"The plans show once again that the Trump administration neglects an elementary leadership task: the involvement of allies in decision-making processes," said Johann Wadephul, deputy leader of Ms. Merkel's ruling conservative bloc in Parliament. "All benefit from the cohesion of the alliance, only Russia and China from discord."

Mr. Trump has frequently hectored allies over weak military spending and other issues such as Iran, and questioned the value of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Allies have complained about not being consulted on major decisions, most recently last month when the Trump administration announced it was withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty, an accord designed to reduce the risk of war between Russia and the West. Mr. Trump has criticized Germany, Europe's largest economy, in particular over its failure to reach the alliance's spending target of 2% of gross domestic product.

NATO and its members have sought to placate Mr. Trump by pledging to meet that target in the future and offering larger contributions to the alliance's budget, which covers bills such as the cost of utilities at its headquarters in Brussels.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has attributed increased military spending among members to Mr. Trump's coaxing and frequently praised his leadership.

The alliance held a leaders' meeting last year, hailed as a success by diplomats largely because Mr. Trump didn't launch fresh broadsides against allies and even defended the alliance against criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron.

Speaking the day before the London meeting, Mr. Stoltenberg touted the recent increase in U.S. troops in Europe as evidence of U.S. commitment.

Mr. Trump's decision to cut numbers shows "complete disconnection between the NATO trend, where allies are pushed to a robust posture against Russia, and the reality of U.S. priorities," said one senior European diplomat at NATO.

The planned cut to U.S. forces in Europe is a boon for the Kremlin, which has long sought to drive a wedge between the Western allies and reduce U.S. influence in Europe.

While Russia has largely given up the idea of improving ties with the U.S., it has looked to various countries where it can gain toeholds in the West not only to boost its own influence but reduce that of the Americans, analysts said.

"The only direction Russia can move in boosting relations with the West is toward Europe," said Andrey Kortunov, the director of the Russian International Affairs Council, a Moscow-based think tank with ties to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

With Russia and the EU on opposite sides of issues such as Ukraine and Syria, Moscow has limited room for improving diplomatic ties in Europe. Instead, it has succeeded in pushing through economic projects on the continent, such as the Nord Stream 2 project that could double Russia's supply of natural gas to Germany. The Trump administration's attempts to stop the project have created a bone of contention between Berlin and Washington.

Alexei Leonkov, a Moscow-based military expert, said tensions between the U.S. and Germany over the withdrawal of troops and other factors could help give Moscow further leverage in seeing the project through.

"Germany's economic growth has been held back by the U.S.'s need to sanction Russia for everything and anything. Maybe we can see a change here," he said.

However, Victor Olevich, an expert on U.S.-Russian relations at the Moscow-based Center for Actual Politics, said Russia had to be measured in its expectations. A hacking scandal that exposed Russia's alleged attempts to gain access to Ms. Merkel's emails have hit relations hard. Furthermore, the U.S. is planning to increase further its forces in Poland, which it has steadily built up in recent years.

"The potential move of U.S. forces eastward, from Germany to Poland, is bound to increase pressure on Russia's western borders and elicit visible countermeasures from Moscow," said Mr. Olevich.

Write to James Marson at james.marson@wsj.com and Thomas Grove at thomas.grove@wsj.com

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Texan1211
1  seeder  Texan1211    one month ago

Curious as to why European countries would be so worried about such a reduction in forces, and why do they think we should do more? How's about THEM doing more for themselves?

 
 
 
zuksam
1.1  zuksam  replied to  Texan1211 @1    one month ago

Or at least paying for the protection we provide.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
2  Jeremy Retired in NC    one month ago

So this is the fake outrage of the day.  We've been in Germany since the end of WWII.  This has been talked about since I was stationed in Germany 30 years ago.  

So in reality, your "outrage" is because Trump is, yet again, doing what others have only promised to do.

 
 
 
Kavika
3  Kavika     one month ago

The number of U.S. troops is down considerably from the cold war era, worldwide. Numerous bases in Europe have been shuttered. 

Currently, we have roughly 225,000 troops station in foreign countries. 

The top five countries with US troops are:

Japan    63,435

Germany 46,900

So. Korea 29,048

Italy          15,478

UK            10,528

Total       165,389

The remaining 60,000 are scattered throughout the world.

Why not bring them all back home? Is there a cost-saving to doing this? Even with our allies paying part of the bill I would suspect there is. What other advantages or disadvantages are there to do this?

As a fair discloser, I have a great-nephew stationed at Luke AFB, AZ. Another nephew stationed at Camp Red Cloud, South Korea. A grandson somewhere in the world with the Australian SAS. A number that has retired from the military with 20 or more years service and a long line of family members that have served as far back as the Indian Wars (on the Indian side). I am also a veteran. 

So, let's have a good discussion as to the pros and cons of such a dramatic move by the US. 

Texan, is it alright with you to have this discussion on your article? If not please feel free to delete it. '

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Kavika @3    one month ago

I think it is a great idea to reduce our military presence overseas.

Heard lots of people supportive of such an idea. 

Now, let's see how many really meant it.

I believe our role as world policeman is over, or should be.

We shouldn't have to borrow money to "defend" the world at our expense.

 
 
 
Kavika
3.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Texan1211 @3.1    one month ago

Our presence overseas isn't only an altruistic one. There were and still are numerous advantages to the US. 

The monies paid by the countries that host our are troops is large but or course doesn't cover the complete cost or was it ever meant to. 

I think that one of the areas that could become contentious is if they did pay the majority, or all of the cost are we then nothing more than mercenaries. 

As you stated Texan, a lot of people want us out but is it bluster or would they follow through? 

If we did bring all the troops home what would we do with them and would we need a military as large as we have now? 

From what you posted I assume that you want to bring them all home. I some ways I'm in agreement with you but I have to ask myself if we did that what is to stop a powerful nation like China to keep expanding it's influence and power throughout Asia, ME, Pacific and Africa? Nothing as far as I can see, 

Therein lies the quandary, to pull back and isolate ourselves both militarily and that would lead to isolating ourselves trading wise. Could we survive in that mode and what would it lead to?

Throw out some idea that you have Texan.

 
 
 
1776  Traditional American
3.1.2  1776 Traditional American  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1    one month ago

I’m of two minds here.  One towards streamlining the military and brining more home and the other to move some from Europe in that pivot toward Asia.  One could to both by moving some assets from Europe to Diego Garcia, Guam, other Pacific Islands that are American as well as Alaska and Hawaii.  

 
 
 
Kavika
3.1.3  Kavika   replied to  1776 Traditional American @3.1.2    one month ago

Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam already have large contingents of US military. As for the Pacific Islands, they are not US territory and it would require the governments of those islands to agree to it, and then we would again be paying those countries to have our troops stationed there if they would accept our military in their country.

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.1.4  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Kavika @3.1.1    one month ago

I think a group of military advisors and our own people to man the missiles we have there would be sufficient. No need to bring every single one of them home, IMO.

I get the point about China expanding, but don't you think China and Russia thought the same thing about us?

Either we live in a global world, where all countries are supposed to be equal and interdependent on each other, honor borders, and trade freely and fairly with each other, or we don't.

Other countries have to learn to stand on there own. Not saying we can't help out occasionally, but the constant stream of money flowing from US Taxpayers should stop, or at the very least, we should be given preferential treatment when it comes to trade. No reason US Taxpayers need to foot the bill for all.

 
 
 
Kavika
3.1.5  Kavika   replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.4    one month ago
I think a group of military advisors and our own people to man the missiles we have there would be sufficient. No need to bring every single one of them home, IMO.

Kinda in agreement with that but to man those missiles will take quite a few people. None the less a viable alternative. 

I get the point about China expanding, but don't you think China and Russia thought the same thing about us?

Without a doubt, they have and still do. 

Either we live in a global world, where all countries are supposed to be equal and interdependent on each other, honor borders, and trade freely and fairly with each other, or we don't.

I believe that we do live in a global world, trade is a very important component of a countries success. All this sounds good but there will always be some bad actors on the world stage. There in lies the problem. Dammed if we do, dammed if we don't. 

Other countries have to learn to stand on there own. Not saying we can't help out occasionally, but the constant stream of money flowing from US Taxpayers should stop, or at the very least, we should be given preferential treatment when it comes to trade. No reason US Taxpayers need to foot the bill for all.

Most can stand on their own. Additionally, we have asked for their support on occasions and they have given it. The ME for example. One that really stands out to me is Vietnam. South Korea had the second-largest contingent of troops in Vietnam after the US. They suffered over 5,000 KIA and over 10 thousand wounded. So we do have to take that into consideration. 

Our military budget is around $800 billion per year. This of course supports tens of thousands of jobs in the US. My complaint is that we invest in some weapon systems that prove to be a disaster and the cost of these is beyond comprehension. We have 11 aircraft carriers and from what I've read we plan on building 3 more at $11 to $13 billion per copy. Why in the hell do we need 14 aircraft carriers when the most any other country has is 2. IMO this waste of money could well be spent on our front line troops the ones that are far more likely to be KIA. Army/Marine needs, IMO, much better funding. 

Correct on my comment that my great-nephew is at Camp Red Cloud. It's should be Camp Casey in South Korea. He is currently awaiting orders to ship stateside for a new assignment. He is career Army.

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.1.6  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Kavika @3.1.5    one month ago
Our military budget is around $800 billion per year. This of course supports tens of thousands of jobs in the US. My complaint is that we invest in some weapon systems that prove to be a disaster and the cost of these is beyond comprehension. We have 11 aircraft carriers and from what I've read we plan on building 3 more at $11 to $13 billion per copy. Why in the hell do we need 14 aircraft carriers when the most any other country has is 2. IMO this waste of money could well be spent on our front line troops the ones that are far more likely to be KIA. Army/Marine needs, IMO, much better funding. 

We can probably agree that the way government procures weapons and supplies leaves much to be desired. I believe our military has sufficient numbers in peacetime. I agree that much of what we buy is wasted and simply overkill.

 
 
 
Kavika
3.1.7  Kavika   replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.6    one month ago

What really gets me is when the military states that it doesn't want or need a certain system and the congressmen get it funded cuz it helps their district. 

I could go on but I put my soap box to bed for the night.

 
 
 
Krishna
3.1.8  Krishna  replied to  Kavika @3.1.5    one month ago
Why in the hell do we need 14 aircraft carriers when the most any other country has is 2.

Simple-- the defense industry lobbiets. Lobbies of various defense industry contractors are enormous and well financed-- and they have a lot of power to swing Congress to continue to appropriate huge sums of money to "defense" (i.e. money that goes to these huge military contractors)

 
 
 
Snuffy
3.1.9  Snuffy  replied to  Krishna @3.1.8    one month ago
Why in the hell do we need 14 aircraft carriers when the most any other country has is 2.
Simple-- the defense industry lobbiets. Lobbies of various defense industry contractors are enormous and well financed-- and they have a lot of power to swing Congress to continue to appropriate huge sums of money to "defense" (i.e. money that goes to these huge military contractors)

I would say yes and no. We have 10 of the Nimitz class aaircraft carries in service. These ships were projected to have a life span exceeding 50 years but how much more was never really laid out.  The first of that class,  the USS Nimitz is over 45 years old now so it is reaching the end of it's lifespan. The new class, the Gerald R. Ford class,  is supposed to be a very improved warship with much newer technology so it stands to reason they will build several.  As the new ships are commissioned the older ships will be taken out of service.  So part of the larger number of aircraft carriers is planned replacement.

Now another look at the question would be the strategic decision to have a military capable of simultaneously fighting in two major wars and one smaller skirmish. To be able to do that requires a lot of hardware. Additional thought would be to look back at the beginning of WW2 and how long did it take to bring up a fighting force after we entered the war.  And that was with 1930's technology where they couldn't send aircraft from overseas to bomb cities. In today's conflicts they can send long-range bombers or missiles to wipe out manufacturing centers and prevent any buildup of forces. So it's easier to have it on the shelf rather than try to build up during a war.

Nothing I said is official policy, this is just how I see things.

 
 
 
MUVA
3.2  MUVA  replied to  Kavika @3    one month ago

I agree bring them all home and build a stream line military.I have two cousins that are stationed over seas one in Germany one in Japan both Naval academy grads.

 
 
 
Kavika
3.2.1  Kavika   replied to  MUVA @3.2    one month ago

Ok, your stance is bring them all home and streamline and reduce our military. Are you speaking of all branches of the Military? or just the Army and Marine Corps?

 
 
 
1776  Traditional American
3.2.2  1776 Traditional American  replied to  MUVA @3.2    one month ago

as long as the communist party rules China we will need all the branches of the military in Japan.  It will be in the next Cold War what West Germany was in the last one

 
 
 
Kavika
3.2.3  Kavika   replied to  1776 Traditional American @3.2.2    one month ago

The government of Vietnam is communist and many of the countries in SE Asia are very right-leaning. 

Again don't forget about Russia, they are not toothless.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
3.3  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Kavika @3    one month ago
What other advantages or disadvantages are there to do this?

if we leave the global stage completely, china or another country will fill the void.

someone has to be the world police -  better it is the USA than any other country.

so don't expect us to bring ALL the troops home.. not going to happen.

but other countries do need to pay up.

 
 
 
Gazoo
4  Gazoo    one month ago

They balk about paying their fair share and they balk about Trump doing something establishment types have talked about doing a long time. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
5  Tacos!    one month ago

Talk about a sense of entitlement! We take care of their security; they don't pay for it; and when we cut back a little, they whine as if we are taking something that belongs to them. That takes brass!

NATO and its members have sought to placate Mr. Trump by pledging to meet that target in the future

In other words: "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." Sorry, this President Popeye is no sucker.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
5.1  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Tacos! @5    one month ago
and when we cut back a little, they whine as if we are taking something that belongs to them. That takes brass!

not brass... just progressive leadership, so more like a  tin cup - for panhandlers

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
6  The Magic Eight Ball    one month ago
 held back by the U.S.'s need to sanction Russia for everything and anything

wait, I heard trump is colluding with russia?     really?   

only the morons believe anything msm tells them.  LOL

 
 
 
XDm9mm
6.1  XDm9mm  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @6    one month ago
only the morons believe anything msm tells them.

And there are shit loads of morons.   If it wasn't so scary, it would be laughable.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
6.1.1  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  XDm9mm @6.1    one month ago
If it wasn't so scary, it would be laughable.

LOL 

I have not stopped laughing yet.

they are not scary because they are predictable.

but we do have to stay on our toes....   as  those morons never stop

 
 
 
It Is ME
7  It Is ME    one month ago

U.S. allies in Europe expressed dismay over President Trump's plan to slash the number of American troops in Germany by more than a quarter, saying it undermined NATO and boosted adversaries such as Russia.

That's a load of Crap !

They're just worried more on "Economic Lines". It will put a dent in their "Economy" to lose all those "Spending Folks" !

 
 
 
XDm9mm
7.1  XDm9mm  replied to  It Is ME @7    one month ago
U.S. allies in Europe expressed dismay over President Trump's plan to slash the number of American troops in Germany by more than a quarter, saying it undermined NATO and boosted adversaries such as Russia.

That's a load of Crap !

They're just worried more on "Economic Lines". It will put a dent in their "Economy" to lose all those "Spending Folks" !

Two points.

Other "allies" likely include Great Britain, France and others that had the shit kicked out of them by Germany a couple of times and look to us to keep them in line by being right there in their own yard.  We're actually the fox guarding the hen house so to speak.

Now as to the financial point, that's Germany pissing and moaning.  They don't give shit towards us protecting them from the former USSR and now Russia.  We "enjoy" some rent free facilities....  big shits, and some tax breaks.  I guess they don't tax us for the shit we buy to protect their asses.

Here's a little something that's interesting:

In Germany, where the United States maintain dozens of bases, compensation from Berlin is largely indirect. It includes tax waivers and rent-free use of facilities as well as construction of roads and other infrastructure in communities where installations are located.
 
 
 
It Is ME
7.1.1  It Is ME  replied to  XDm9mm @7.1    one month ago

"The Pentagon spends an estimated $10 billion a year on overseas bases."

That's a few bucks for sure.  

 
 
 
Kavika
7.1.2  Kavika   replied to  XDm9mm @7.1    one month ago

So, if they (Germany) choose not to increase their monetary contribution what do you think we should do? 

 
 
 
XDm9mm
7.1.3  XDm9mm  replied to  Kavika @7.1.2    one month ago

Just what we are doing, or at least what Trump is proposing.

Pull about half of our people out.   Reduce our expense and use those funds to either lower the deficit (I won't hold my breath!!) or fund other more likely trouble spots.  Bolster Japan and SK and other Asian areas, hell, even establish a presence on Taiwan.

Germany is only a frenemy.  They used us for decades to hide from the Soviet Union but now are essentially in bed with the old USSR in Russia by supporting them and their gas supplying Europe while not being helpful to building LNG facilities to replace Russian gas with American natural gas.

Hell, they didn't like us when I was in Berlin before the wall came down, and now that the country is 'unified', I suspect they like us even less.  

 
 
 
Kavika
7.1.4  Kavika   replied to  XDm9mm @7.1.3    one month ago

The proposed pull out of 9,500 US troops still leaves us with a big footprint in Germany. 

It would seem that if we did pull those troops out and used the money to add to Japan/SK or Taiwan defense we would be defeating the purpose of saving money on overseas bases. 

I think that Taiwan would be a very dicey proposition for the US.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
7.1.5  XDm9mm  replied to  Kavika @7.1.4    one month ago
I think that Taiwan would be a very dicey proposition for the US.

Yes it most certainly would.  But it would be returning to what we had historically done.

Before Peanut Farmer Carter cut off Taiwan at the knees, we recognized them as the representative of China.   But Carter swapped Communist China and democratic Taiwan as the official "China".  

I must surmise Carter was beholden to Russia AND China.  They were after all the only two entities that recognized Red china as the official representative.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
8  FLYNAVY1    one month ago

The pull out in Germany isn't too much of a concern.  

Everybody best keep their eyes open on the activities in the South China Sea.  A strong Western influence needs to be projected there.

 
 
 
Kavika
9  Kavika     one month ago

The Russians have moved fighter jets into Libya and along with mercenaries. Best keep our eye on Russia as well. Syria and Libya (lots of oil) what's next?

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/05/30/us-africa-command-russian-jets-in-libya-present-broader-worries-for-region/

 
 
 
Texan1211
9.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Kavika @9    one month ago

I guess we'll see if this is a crisis or not.

Will Mideast-oil-dependent countries in Europe offer a response--or wait for the US to do something for them again?

 
 
 
Kavika
9.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Texan1211 @9.1    one month ago

There certainly is of concern in the US military about it. It does put Russia in a good position. 

Whether we do something or not only time will tell.

 
 
 
Ronin2
9.1.2  Ronin2  replied to  Kavika @9.1.1    one month ago

That is what happens when the US destabilizes countries. No damn long term thinking.

Remove Qaddaffi from Libya and then install a weak "Democratic" mishmash government that has several enemies of the US in it. The government doesn't even represent the majority of the country. 2/3rd's of Libya are outside of their government control. Power loves a vacuum- the Russians are simply filling it. Libya and our position were far better under the old rule.

Weaken Assad in Syria and watch him go running to Russia to prop up his rule. Russia got a free port, air fields, and military bases out of the deal. Added bonus they managed to snag the ear of Israel which views Russia as a stabilizing force over Assad. 

 
 
 
It Is ME
9.2  It Is ME  replied to  Kavika @9    one month ago
The Russians have moved fighter jets into Libya

The 2009 to 2016 U.S. leadership and Others made that accessibility easier for Russia.

 
 
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