The commander in chief has ordered US troops out of Germany…..not all but just a few…..
Growing US-Germany tensions have reached the point where the Trump Administration has announced that 9,500 troops will be returning from Germany. This will leave 25,000 US troops there, which is the new “cap” for maximum troop levels.
The US has been haranguing Germany for years over military spending, and this has included Trump threatening to pull troops back. Polls have shown Germany tended to prefer that the US troops leave anyhow.
The US had at one point many more troops in Germany, as part of Cold War deals. The troops are still nominally there to fight Russia, even though a large number of NATO countries are now in between Germany and Russia.
Many of us antiwar types have been calling for the US to bring the troops home from Germany since the USSR is no longer a threat….
But what about Russia?
Russia’s Western Military District has announced the deployment of more troops as well as motorized units into their western region, saying they are meant to “perform tasks on ensuring the defense of the Russian Federation in the Western Strategic direction.”
This puts more Russian forces in the area near the NATO frontier, after years of US and NATO troops being deployed in the Baltic and in other areas bordering Russia. This is a continuation of that buildup, with an eye toward further tit-for-tat challenges.
The big question is will this Trumpian move harm America’s standing in Europe?
Some say the move will damage Trump’s relationship with Germany, Europe’s most powerful nation, and boost anti-American sentiment there. “Russia has done nothing to lower its threat to our allies,” a retired US Army general tells the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story. “Germany is the most important ally we have in Europe. This looks like punishment somehow.” But a senior US official says the order reflects Trump’s frustration with Germany in other ways—like its level of military spending (not yet the NATO goal of 2%) and decision to finish a gas pipeline with Russia under the Baltic Sea. Some of the US troops will apparently go to Poland or other American allies, while the rest will come home.
I am pleased to see some of these troops finally coming home….but will this move make matters worse in Europe….especially in Eastern Europe?
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