Why should America anchor Germany’s defense? It cuts deals with Russia, has never met its NATO commitment, and is the most anti-American nation in Europe.
President Trump recently ordered a 12,000-troop reduction in American military personnel stationed in Germany. That leaves about 24,000 American soldiers still in the country.
A little more than half of the troops being withdrawn will return home. The rest will be redeployed to other NATO member nations, such as Belgium, Italy, and perhaps Baltic and Eastern European countries.
German chancellor Angela Merkel is said to be furious. She claims that the redeployments will “weaken the [NATO] alliance.” German commercial interests chimed in that the troop withdrawals will hurt their decades-old businesses serving U.S. bases.
NATO’s Challenge Is Germany, Not America
Perhaps, but Merkel surely cannot be surprised. Six years ago, all NATO members pledged to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense. Yet only eight of 29 so far have kept their word.
Germany spends only about 1.4 percent of its GDP on defense. As NATO’s largest, wealthiest, and most powerful European member, it sets the example for the rest of alliance.
Merkel’s reneging on her 2014 pledge helps explain why less wealthy and influential NATO members also see no reason to meet their obligations.
Germany surely knows that 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the World War II, and the 29th year since the fall of the Berlin Wall — the symbolic end of the Cold War.
Will there be any point in the future when Europe is confident enough to be a full defense partner with the U.S. rather than an eight-decade client?
NATO, of course, still provides a common European defense, but only by habitually relying inordinately on U.S. military contributions. That dependence seems increasingly odd when the European Union has an aggregate GDP nearly as large as America’s.
More important, NATO’s frontline threats are now mostly concerned with rogue member Turkey, especially its bullying of Greece and its increasingly aggressive stance in the Middle East.
Russia always poses a threat to Europe. But the likely flashpoints are not on the German border, but probably eastward, in the Baltic states or on the Russian frontier with Poland.
Moreover, the Merkel government has concluded, over American objections, a huge natural-gas deal with Russia that is currently under some U.S. sanctions and short of cash.
Russian energy exports to Germany are said to earn Russia $10 billion a year, with a likely doubling of that income once additional pipelines to Germany are completed.
Merkel likes to lecture the world on moral issues, but what is so noble about empowering Russian president Vladimir Putin, who recently reclaimed Crimea and seems now to be eyeing Belarus?
Like a modern-day Byzantine emperor Justinian, who recovered much of the lost Western Roman Empire, Putin seems to think he can reabsorb the lost Soviet republics.
In recent polling, Germans were more anti-American than any other nation in Europe. And while about 75 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. still has a good relationship with Germany, only about a third of Germans feel that way about the U.S. In some polls, nearly half the German population wants American troops out.
How quickly they have forgot the Berlin Airlift carried out by the USA and the U.K. against the Russians the Eagle and the Lion went over the Bears head
Again, Germany, be careful what you wish for. Also, how did the last agreement you made with Russians work out?