Friday, July 31, 2020

Auf Wiedersehen, Angela

Call me naive. Call me uninformed. But, for the life of me I do not understand why the foreign policy establishment, both left and right, is up in arms at the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw some troops from Germany.

Precisely why should the American taxpayer pay for something that the German government does not want to pay for. Most Western European countries are freeloading on American defense capabilities, and a step away from their dependance does not seem to be a bad thing. 

At a time when Germany wants to become dependent on Russia for natural gas supplies, why should America pretend that Germany is a staunch ally. At a time when Germany continues to support Iran and the Iran nuclear deal, why should we treat them as an ally. No one ever mentions the simple fact, namely, that if a nation wants to be treated like an ally it should act like an ally.

At a time when the German military cannot train with tanks, because it has no tanks, why should American soldiers bear the burden?

Since we are only talking about 12,000 troops, and while that still leaves around twice that number behind, how does it happen that the foreign policy establishment is going apocalyptic.

Caitlin Johnstone gathers together some of the hyperbolic rhetoric:

“Trump’s decision to withdraw US Forces from Germany shows a broad lack of strategic understanding. It sends the wrong signal to our adversaries and leaves our allies vulnerable in the face of increasing global threats. It’s simply unacceptable,” tweeted former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who as we all know is always correct about military matters.

“Did Trump give Putin a heads up on the removal of 12,000 US troops from Germany? Was there an implication it was a kind of down payment for election help, a taste of what could follow in a second term?” asks super smart foreign policy expert Bill Kristol.

“US to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany in move that will cost billions and take years,” warns a CNN headline that is both helpful and totally sane.

She continues:

NPR’s national security correspondent David Welna informs us that the move is “a slap at a longtime ally frequently reviled by President Trump.”

“There’s no strategy behind the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Germany,” says Slate foreign policy pundit Fred Kaplan.

“It’s about the president’s anger and ego.”

“The plan outlined by the Administration today to remove thousands of U.S. troops from Germany is a grave error,” said Senator Mitt Romney in a statement. “It is a slap in the face at a friend and ally when we should instead be drawing closer in our mutual commitment to deter Russian and Chinese aggression. And it is a gift to Russia coming at a time when we just have learned of its support for the Taliban and reports of bounties on killing American troops.”

“A special gift to Putin and a blow to NATO,” tweeted former National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

“Donald Trump is not playing on America’s team.”

Of course, these people cheered when Barack Obama said that he would be more flexible with Putin. They defended Obama when he sat idly by as Putin took over Crimes, when he walked away from Syria and when he canceled missile defense systems promised to Poland and the Czech Republic-- because Putin wanted him to.

If Mitt Romney thinks that the withdrawal is a grave error, that means that it's a good idea. When Iran was putting bounties on American troops, none of these people uttered a word. Anyway, we all know that Germany has not been acting like a friend or an ally. This ought to cost it something.


Giordano Bruno said...

Our policy before Trump: all carrots and no sticks.

Our foreign policy after Trump: carrots and sticks.

Carrots are easy; it's other people's money and lives. Sticks require calculation: what type of wood, what size, how long, and to whom.

Sounds like Trump got Germany's attention without creating a permanent rift. The troops could be reinstated, or not, depends on Germany. It is also a message to all of our "allies" on how the US views our mutual commitments.

Sam L. said...

Ah, Mitt does it AGAIN. He used to be sane, but now he's a deep-end guy.