Today the Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, announced that the Pentagon will be pulling 12,000 US troops out of Germany. The move was widely expected after public disputes over Germany’s failure to meet defense spending mandates. The country has routinely failed to meet spending goals and has also made political moves that flout the purpose of the defensive alliance.
”We could see some moves begin within weeks. Others will take longer. As anyone can see, the repositioning of our forces in Europe constitutes a major strategic and positive shift, wholly in line with the NDS and consistent with other adjustments the United States has made within NATO in previous times.”Defense Secretary Mark Esper
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance of Western nations who have a unified defense pact. It was formed to fend off communist aggression by putting the might of the US military behind less powerful allies who were at risk. In exchange the members each promised to contribute 2% of their own GDP to national defense.
NATO’s largest communist threats have historically been Russia and China. However, Germany has formed energy alliances with Russia and worked to secure a pipeline for direct access to Russian oil. This deal undermines the need for foreign protection of Germany from Russian aggression.
Germany has also worked hard to circumvent US sanctions against Iran. President Trump exited the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran Deal, in May of 2018. Following that exit, Iran was put back into penalty and was heavily sanctioned.
Despite those sanctions and our political alliances with Germany that compel them to comply, Germany found ways around it. A special type of currency bartering program called INSTEX was formed. This barter currency would allow Germany and others to trade with Iran even though it was under sanction.
These things combined show Germany has deliberately neglected to fulfill it’s duties as a member of NATO. The moments of choice have come and gone while Germany has repeatedly sided with adversaries to the West. The removal of 12,000 troops from Germany puts the country at a position where it must consider it’s own security and national interests.
“Nearly 5,600 service members will be repositioned within NATO countries and approximately 6,400 will return to the United States, though many of these or similar units will begin conducting rotational deployments,” Esper said.