Why Moving American Troops from Germany Benefits the Kremlin
President Donald Trump recently announced through his Defense Secretary that nearly 12,000 American troops will be moved from Germany to other European nation, specifically to Belgium and Italy. This flies in the face of decades of American-German cooperation and security in military matters and strikes at the heart of the NATO alliance.
Removing these troops from Germany, which has an excellent infrastructure, roads airports, military bases, and such, to two countries further away from potential battlefields that could involve Russia, only weakens NATO’s collective security and it only encourages Vladimir Putin and his aggressive Russian foreign policy. Many American politicians, both Democrat and Republican, are criticizing President Trump’s decision. Many of these politicians, including Republicans are concerned that this move is not being made for strategic or military reasons, but is being done to spite German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with whom Donald Trump has had very difficult and belligerent relations. Germany is one of the leading nations of Europe and of NATO, and if this move is being made to spite the German leader and has no true financial, strategic, or military reasons for occurring then this is a betrayal of American security, NATO security, and European security on the part of President Donald Trump.
Accusations have been made in the past that President Trump is too willing to make decisions that benefit Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Russian interests. The fact that Donald Trump has spoken with Vladimir Putin since the allegations of Russian bounties put on American troops in Afghanistan has come out, and he has not mentioned this to Vladimir Putin, speaks volumes.
American soldiers have been stationed in Germany since the end of World War II. From 1949 to 1955, American and other Allied forces acted as occupation troops for the most part, but in 1955 the new government in Bonn, led Germany to become independent as West Germany. The Communists set up a puppet state in East Germany, but when West Germany join NATO in 1955 as a sovereign nation, this strengthened the alliance and a growing friendship between the West German people and the United States grew. German, American, British, and French forces stood as a bulwark against the aggressions of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. After the Cold War ended and there was hope that Russia would join the family of nations as a responsible power, American bases in the newly unified German Federal Republic served as staging bases for American deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and other battlefields since the end of the Cold War. Thousands of American soldiers have been flown to American military hospitals in Germany during these post-Cold War conflicts and from there to the United States for further treatment.
The rise of Vladimir Putin in Russia and his aggressive foreign policy that has sought to strengthen his country, while also interfering in the internal politics of many Western Nations. including the United States, has put Russia back on the opposite side of America and the NATO alliance. As NATO has expanded into Eastern Europe, nations that have historically been victims of Russian aggression, such as Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania, joined NATO with the promise of protection from future Russian aggression. Those nations are asking for more American troops, yet Donald Trump sends troops from Germany to countries like Belgium in Italy, who are in the opposite direction of the Russian frontier. Let us hope that this decision will be countermanded, changed, or erased, for the good of American and European security and protection.