US ambassador threatens Germany with US troop reduction — Some Germans applaud
Majority of Der Spiegel readers reject Grinnell's calls for military spending hike
Translator note: I have this link thanks to my Facebook friend in the German Bundestag Sevim Dagdelen, who precedes the text with the comment:
Finally a good message from the US Embassy: DIE LINKE expressly welcomes a withdrawal of US troops from Germany.
Please take the US nuclear weapons with you! It’s high time!
Here is the Spiegel news item:
German military spending has been a perennial topic of the US president ever since Donald Trump came to office. In the eyes of Washington, German military spending is still too low.
Shortly before Trump’s planned trip to Europe, the US is sharpening the tone in the debate and renews threats about a partial withdrawal of its troops from Germany.
“It’s really offensive to expect the US taxpayer to continue to pay more than 50,000 Americans in Germany, but the Germans use their trade surplus for domestic purposes,” US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said to the dpa news agency.
Earlier, US ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, tweeted: “Poland meets its obligation to pay two percent of GDP against NATO, which Germany does not do, and we would like US troops to come to Poland in Germany.”
Trump had already broached the idea of a transfer of troops from Germany to Poland in June during a visit by the Polish President Andrzej Duda in Washington.
Grenell agreed with the two. “President Trump is right and Georgette Mosbacher is right,” he said. “Numerous presidents have asked Europe’s largest economy to pay for their own defense, a plea that has dragged on for many years and through many governments. Now you have reached the point at which the Americans and the US President would have to respond.”
35,000 US soldiers in Germany
Germany is the country where most US troops are based in Europe. And after Japan, it is the second largest foreign base of the US armed forces ever.
The command centers for the US troops in Europe and Africa are in Stuttgart, the most important air force base of the United States is in the Rhineland-Palatinate Ramstein and one of the largest military training areas in Europe is in Grafenwöhr.
Der Spiegel closes this story with a poll question
Should Germany comply with the demands for defense budget?
And here is a screen capture of the voting:
On the left side, “Yes, we should raise our defense budget some more.” On the right side “No, I don’t consider this useful.”