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article imageOp-Ed: Trump orders 9,500 US troops back from Germany

By Ken Hanly     Jun 5, 2020 in Politics
Relations between the US and Germany have reached such a low level that the Trump Administration has announced that 9,500 troops will be returning from Germany to the US.
Trump has constantly complained about Germany not sharing expenses
Trump has complained for years that the Germans do not pay a fair share of the expenses of keeping US troops there. He has maintained the same position with other countries as well, such as South Korea. In Germany, the withdrawal will still leave 25,000 troops in the country. No doubt, this will be a new cap for US troop presence in the country. Under present policy up to 52,000 US troops can be in Germany at any one time.
The US has used the threat to pull out troops as a lever to demand Germany increase its share of their costs. However, polls have shown that Germans would prefer they leave rather than pay more. There appears to be no political backlash against Germany's refusal to pay more for US troops.
In the past, the US has had many more troops in Germany as part of Cold War deals. The US troops are still nominally there to fend off any threat from the Russians, but there appears no big threat from Russia. Indeed the US is now bothered by increased trade relations with Russia as evidenced in the Nordstrom 2 project a pipeline from Russia under the Baltic Sea to Germany.
US Ambassador to Germany issued threats
On May 25 of 2020 then US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell blasted Andreas Nick, the head of the German Delegation to Parliamentary Assembly who complained that Grenell had been issuing threats over Germany's low funding of NATO spending tweeting: “You always wanted me to stop asking you publicly to pay your NATO obligations and calling for an end to Nord Stream 2. But these are US policies. And I work for the American people.” Grenell also said: “Instead of undermining the solidarity that forms the basis of NATO’s nuclear deterrence, it is now time for Germany to meet its commitments to its allies and to continuously invest in NATO’s nuclear participation.” Also, in May Grenell had accused Germany of undermining NATO's nuclear deterrent when German legislators had called for the removal of US nuclear weapons from Germany.
Nick responded to Grenell by noting that previous US ambassadors he had known had always left as highly respected figures and as trusted friends of Germany but that Grenell was leaving while issuing threats and acting as if the US were a power hostile to Germany.
As indicated on the appended video Grenell has resigned. The Trump administration seems to use its power to try and bully other countries into doing its bidding. The result when used against allies is often to alienate them and at times increase the influence of countries that the US considers enemies.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about US troops in Gemerany, US German relations, Donald trump
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