According to American media, U.S. President Donald Trump plans to withdraw 9,500 American soldiers from Germany. U.S. troop numbers in Germany will be reduced to about 25,000 at a time when Warsaw insists on the strengthening of American military presence in Poland.
Germany pays for 35,000 foreign soldiers and 17,000 civilian workers, along with their families, to be in the European country. Between 2012 and 2019, Berlin allocated €480 million to all expenses related to hosting NATO soldiers in Germany. This was almost exclusively for the Americans. For 2019-2030, another €650 million was allocated. The claim that Germany is receiving American defense for free is completely untrue.
Even the withdrawal of nearly 10,000 American soldiers from Germany will not change anything significantly for the European country. This is because the main heart of the U.S. presence in Germany is the Ramstein base. The U.S. will never leave Ramstein as it is effectively an American enclave on German soil and is the center of military logistics and an important point to observe Eastern Europe.
In the end, the deployment of American troops is only part of the U.S.’ long-term plans for Europe, which was once well explained by a Polish-American political scientist and political adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. Namely, the U.S. wants to control France, Germany, Poland and Ukraine as they can collectively oppose Russia. Since the presidency of Charles de Gaulle (1959-1969), Washington has never been able to fully control Paris, especially since there are no U.S. military bases in France. Germany however operated according to the American model and is one of its most loyal allies to progress U.S. interests in Europe. Poland under conservative rule is strengthening its historical hostilities towards Russia, and to a lesser extent against Germany, too. This makes Poland an ideal partner for the U.S. in Europe, and today, probably even more so then Germany. Meanwhile, Ukraine is always proving to be a willing agent of Washington against Russia.
Some German politicians in response to the withdrawal of some American soldiers are leading mass hysteria. They want to win or buy Washington’s favor. This is despite the fact that Germany from an economic perspective will benefit from the partial American withdrawal; while on the other hand, Germany does not have its so-called security concerns weakened since the American soldiers will be placed just a few hundred kilometers away in Poland, which of course is to put further pressure against Kaliningrad.
From the point of view of security policy, Germany nevertheless remains dependent on the U.S. military and political establishment and can be caught up in American aggressions that it does not need to be involved in. European emancipation in the field of security policy is only being pushed by the French and the status quo of American dominance is ardently defended by many other European countries, especially Poland.
Russia has already expressed its concerns that the potential relocation of American soldiers is directed against its country. Spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova said “as for the White House initiative mentioned earlier, it is also worrying because immediately there was a proposal to move American soldiers still stationed in Germany to neighboring Poland. I would like to emphasize that the reconfiguration of the U.S. presence towards Russian borders will not only deepen the already high tension in the sphere of security on the continent, but will further complicate the prospects for the development of constructive dialogue between Russia and NATO in the military and political sphere.”
However, Poland is facing competition for the relocation of these American soldiers. The Atlantic Council of Bulgaria is urging for the Balkan country’s government to not pass up the opportunity and advocates that they should ask the U.S. to relocate American soldiers from Germany to Bulgaria.
In a Facebook post, the Atlantic Council of Bulgaria argues that “The urgent need to strengthen NATO’s southeastern flank, in the context of the violated balance of powers in the Black Sea in favor of the Russian Federation” and “a new generation of people who are permanently oriented towards the values of the Euro-Atlantic family and firmly determined to permanently interrupt Russian dependencies, which are still stumbling the development of the state,” are reasons why the U.S. must relocate its troops to Bulgaria.
Whether these soldiers are relocated to Poland, or potentially even Bulgaria, the purpose is to strengthen countries that are willingly and wanting to oppose Russia. Despite some German concerns that their security will be weakened, Ramstein base will remain the jewel of American military deployments in Europe. Although some commentators believe the American soldiers leaving Germany was a partial U.S. withdrawal from Europe, it is actually an escalation aimed at pressuring Russia.
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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.
Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.
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