Trump Pulls Troops From Germany, It's a Good Start

Mish

Trump will cut the number of troops in Germany by 9,500. That's a good start.

The US has 34,500 troops in Germany. On Friday, Trump Announced a 9,500  Reduction.

President Trump has directed the Pentagon to remove thousands of American troops from Germany by September, a move that would dramatically reshape the U.S. military posture in Europe and reflects growing tensions between Washington and Berlin over military spending and other security issues, U.S. government officials said Friday.

The removal order would reduce the U.S. troop presence in Germany by 9,500 from the 34,500 service members who are permanently assigned there. It would also cap at 25,000 the number of American troops in Germany at any one time. Under current practice, overall troop levels can rise to as high as 52,000 as units rotate in and out or take part in training exercises.

One senior U.S. official said that the administration has been discussing the move since September and that it isn’t linked to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision not to attend a G-7 meeting Mr. Trump was to host in Washington at the end of June.

But the official acknowledged that it reflected the Trump administration’s long frustration with German policy, especially the nation’s level of military spending and its insistence on completing the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will channel Russian gas directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

“We always knew Trump would lash out when he is under pressure domestically, but we thought he would first pull out of Afghanistan,” the official said. “This move will not help friends of the U.S. in Germany who are working hard to preserve the trans-Atlantic relationship, but it will boost the anti-American sentiment that has been spreading here.”

Just a Start

It's been a long, long drought, but Trump finally did something I can praise.

Why should the US pay hundreds of billions of dollars defending the world and making a mess doing it?

If the EU wants US troops in Europe, then the EU should pay for the, not the US. 

Better yet, we do not belong there at all. 

Questioning Why

  • We still have troops in Afghanistan. Why?
  • We still have troops in Iraq: Why?
  • We still have troops in Syria: Why?
  • We still have troops in Japan: Why?
  • We still have troops in 150 countries: Why?

US Military Deployments

The military of the United States is deployed in more than 150 countries around the world, with approximately 170,000 of its active-duty personnel serving outside the United States and its territories

Troops in Americas

Troops in Americas

Troops in East Asia

Troops in East Asia

Troops in West Asia 

Troops in West Asia
Troops in Europe

Unspecified Troops

Unspecified Troops

To the extent we have some some small number of US troops in places like Canada, Greenland, Europe, etc., as long as they are for genuine US defense surveillance and are welcome by that country, then it makes reasonable sense.

But thousands of troops have only one purpose: Fighting wars. 

Occupations 

The US is occupying Cuba, Iraq, and Syria although Iraq and Syria are not listed in the above tables. 

Unspecified Trouble

Unspecified troops are seriously problematic. The US is fomenting trouble in how many places? 

I suspect Libya, Yemen, Venezuela, and other global hot spots. If we do not have explicit permission, then it is illegal occupation. 

Trump is meddling heavily in Venezuela right now. It is not our fight.

Enduring Freedom Irony

Under the code name "Enduring Freedom" the US has been in Afghanistan since 2001.

We have wasted trillions of dollars in the Mideast and no one has any freedom. 

It was US meddling in Saudi Arabia that started 911. Bin Laden's gripe was the US had troops on sacred Arab soil.

And it was Saudi nationals, not Iraqis involved in the destruction of the World Trade Towers. 

In the wake of 911, had Colin Powell stood up to president George W. Bush, the US may have avoided a nonsensical war in Iraq. 

Instead, we invaded Iraq, and ISIS came to power in its wake. 

President Obama continued the mess with a terribly stupid attack on Libya. Hillary was the architect of that invasion. 

The European migration problem from Syria through Turkey and across the Mediterranean Sea is largely a US creation.

Enough is Enough

We are still paying the price for US military meddling.

Bring the troops home. Bring them all home.

Addendum

One of my readers commented "Unfortunately, it was done out of spite, and will not as part of any strategy."

I agree with that sentiment. Trump wants Europe to spend more on the Military. 

I want everyone to spend less, especially the US.

On a different note, I have long speculated Trump will pull troops from Afghanistan in September or October, not really because he wants to, but rather as part of a strategy to get reelected. 

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (33)
No. 1-16
Zardoz
Zardoz

Unfortunately, it was done out of spite, and not as part of any strategy.

Germ
Germ

Most American folks proclaim that the US is the world's policeman.
But most of the world regards the US as the world's bully.

It's really that simple.

Quatloo
Quatloo

Agree that it is progress to see U.S. troops in Germany capped at 25K, but this should be just the beginning of demilitarization abroad.

Bam_Man
Bam_Man

Those troops are only in Germany PRETENDING to defend it against so-called "enemies" that we create for them. In exchange for this great favor, Germany allows Uncle Scam to continue to fund his gigantic annual trade deficits with soon-to-be-worthless IOU's created from thin air. A very nice arrangement for us. And we use the same schtick on Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and others.

Maybe this troop reduction is a sign that the racket is winding down. After more than 70 years, you would think the Germans would have figured out that they will wind up as bag holders. Perhaps they have.

Webej
Webej

Well, here's hoping they don't move the personnel to the "front line" in Poland.
A more serious question is what Americans are going to export if they don't succeed in a soldiers for hire scheme ?

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

Troop draw down frees up money for Space Force. The Chinese have stolen enough of the world's technology that they can now colonize the moon. The US will have none of that, so the US is trying to get back to the moon for military purposes.

shamrock
shamrock

How many times has Trump declared he will removing Troops from XYZ, only to back off in the end and "surge" Troop level instead? Trump is Lucy teeing up a football and you're Charlie Brown, always burned.

Maximus_Minimus
Maximus_Minimus

The only downside is that it wasn't justified by Covid-19, so everybody is shut up, and smiling.

Webej
Webej

The consistent string of abject failures in military interventionism abroad should not raise the obvious question:
Isn't it time to change the policy? This one is not working and is unrealistic...

The real question should be: Perhaps all this interventionism is continued at great cost because the real goals ARE being met.
Stories about democracy building, terror, freedom, and humanitarianism are purely cover stories.

So what are the real goals that are actually being met successfully?

MorningCoffee
MorningCoffee

Next thing you know Germany and South Korea will start pulling some of the thousands of troops they have patrolling our border with Mexico.

LawrenceBird
LawrenceBird

Reductions in troop levels need to be done in an intelligent, systematic way while keeping our allies in the loop. Clearly those in Europe are no longer necessary and the same can be said of S. Korea (who are now capable of defending themselves). Japan is difficult as the US basically assumed responsibility for their defense post 1945. The rest of the lot are mostly related to training or keeping open a forward operating base. I can live with those if the others go.

Jdog1
Jdog1

The real problem with the military is that it is not being used for US security, it is being used to maximize the ability of Corporations to exploit the natural resources of foreign countries. The only reason we are in the mid east is because of oil. We have not used our military in self defense since WW2. Our troops would be better used to defend our own borders which are being invaded every hour...

Harbour
Harbour

Explains why Mattis and Powell are vocal about their contempt for Trump - he’s ruining their meal ticket.

RayLopez
RayLopez

I agree with this Mish op-ed except this part, which is pure conjecture: "The European migration problem from Syria through Turkey and across the Mediterranean Sea is largely a US creation." - no. It's due to migrants looking for a better life in Europe, since they hear rumors that it's a welfare state (largely true). Posting from Greece, which gets paid by the EU (as does Turkey btw) to keep migrants they catch in camps.

bamarick
bamarick

Bring all the men and women home!

superioressays
superioressays

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