Donald Trump has confirmed his intention to partially withdraw US troops from Germany. Now this is no longer a mere publication by the US and German media with reference to unnamed sources, but a President's statement with a promise to "make America great again". However, so far Trump seems to be considering himself the great one, and just wants to pull America up to his level. This is the only explanation for his disdain towards the key NATO ally in Europe, consistently destroying the still existing transatlantic cooperation. There is no more talk about the previous "transatlantic unity".
Trump's plans to withdraw part of the American military contingent outside the territory of Germany come across a blind spot on this move's implication among Germany's political elite, states the Tagesschau news program of the first TV channel. Moreover, regardless of party affiliation among German politicians, it’s not at all clear when to virtually expect a partial withdrawal of US troops from Germany, if at all.
Thus, during his visit to Warsaw, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas admitted that the German government did not have any accurate information on this issue. The Foreign Minister noted that neither the US Secretary of State's office nor the Pentagon could find out "when, how and where" this notorious partial withdrawal of troops would take place. Tellingly, just like NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the German Foreign Minister expressed belief that Trump's plan would harm both the United States and NATO as a whole. "We think that the US presence in Germany is important for the security not just of Germany but also for the security of the United States and especially for the security of Europe," Heiko Maas said.
The US President accompanied his announcement of plans to withdraw troops with outspoken criticism of Angela Merkel's government. Yet again, did Trump say that Germany owed billions to the United States and NATO, since it did not allocate two per cent of its GDP for military spending, as was agreed back in 2014. Indeed, as of year-end 2019, this indicator reached "just" about 1.4 per cent in Germany, although having demonstrated consistent growth. In this regard, there is an indicative opinion by deputy head of Bundestag's CDU/CSU faction Johan Vadepul, who called Trump's critical rhetoric fundamentally flawed, since Germany is increasing its defense spending and will keep doing so.
Meanwhile, Trump is very annoyed over Russia's being the main source of natural gas for Germany and over Berlin's reluctance to completing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea. The US President does not give up accusing Germany that while the US is spending billions to protect Germany from Russia, Germany is paying the latter billions for gas, thereby strengthening the Putin regime. Naturally, the American leader would like it better if the Germans bought liquefied gas from the United States, although it is much more expensive as compared to pipeline gas from Russia.
As a matter of fact, Trump's fierce criticism of Germany, including his threats to partially withdraw American troops thereout, should be considered as an "election maneuver", head of the Bundestag's Foreign Policy Committee Norbert Röttgen believes. For Trump, words are generally more important than deeds, the MP says, suggesting that the US leader will seek to implement his plan before the voting day, so as to present the withdrawal of troops as a trophy to the voters. At the same time, many experts note that due to the presence of America's developed and expensive infrastructure in Germany, any relocation of troops and equipment will entail billion-worth expenses. And such budget spending will require consent of the Congress, where strong resistance from both the Democrats and the Republicans is in for Trump.
Meanwhile, curious processes have begun in the minds of Eastern European NATO "recruits". So, more recently, when media reports appeared about the upcoming partial withdrawal of US military from Germany, and its possible relocation, including to Poland, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview with a local radio station that this "will strengthen the Eastern flank of NATO" and benefit the security of Europe as a whole. Now, the tone of Mr. Morawiecki's statements has changed appreciably: "Poland has been consistently striving to increase the US military presence on its territory. It is not our intention to achieve this goal at the expense of reducing the American contingent in Germany," he told the Baltic News Agency (BNS), according to the NTV channel's Munich portal. Perhaps it was Berlin to recommend that the Pole do not halloo until he is out of the wood.