Posted on Aug 10, 2019
Exasperated at Germany's stubborn refusal to meet its commitments to Nato, the U.S. is actively considering redeploying its considerable military presence in the country to Poland.
“It is actually offensive to assume that the US taxpayer must continue to pay to have 50,000-plus Americans in Germany, but the Germans get to spend their surplus on domestic programs,” Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador in Berlin told Germany's DPA Press Agency.
President Trump previously alluded to this possibility, when in June he told a press conference that 1,000 troops for a planned new deployment in Poland would be drawn from those stationed in Germany.
The U.S. currently has around 35,000 service personnel in the country, along with some 17,000 civilian support staff.
Despite repeated pledges from Chancellor Merkel and successive German defence ministers to move towards the Nato defence spending target of 2% of GDP, German military spending remains far short at just 1.3% of GDP this year. A pledge by Mrs. Merkel to increase spending to 1.5% by 2024 appears to have been undermined when Olaf Scholz, the finance minister, cut planned increases in this year’s budget.
For Germany's own sake, we need to finally increase defence spending in a significant and permanent way that reflects our global commitments. This has nothing to do with the American president, but is about our responsibilities to our own soldiers and to Europe, and credible burden-sharing.
The U.S. mood towards Germany was not improved by the country's recent refusal to take part in a multinational naval task force to defend shipping from Iranian threats in the Strait of Hormuz.
Georgette Mosbacher, the American ambassador in Warsaw, reinforced the call for the troops in Germany to be transferred to Poland when she Tweeted that “Poland meets its 2% of GDP spending obligation towards Nato. Germany does not. We would welcome American troops in Germany to come to Poland,”
The economic benefits to local communities of such a large force, as well as to Germany as a whole, will be greatly missed by that country.
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