German MPs have demanded that the government expel US forces stationed in Germany. MPs argue that their presence only serves the purposes of the US illegal wars in the Middle East and stokes tensions with Moscow.
Lawmakers from the opposition Left Party have tabled a motion calling on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to immediately stop financing the American military presence in the country and to annul a 1990 treaty allowing US soldiers to be deployed on German soil in the first instance.
“More than 35,000 US soldiers are stationed in Germany, more than in any other European land,” the document, published on the Bundestag’s website, points out, adding that American military bases are used to further Washington’s “policy of war in the Middle East.” The lawmakers particularly expressed their outrage over the fact that the German bases are used “in the continuing illegal practice of targeted US assassinations in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” apparently referring to the American use of strike drones.
The document also states that the continued presence of American forces on German soil leads to nothing but escalation of an already tense situation with regard to relations with Russia. The MPs also denounced any deployment of American troops to bases in Poland and other Central and Eastern European states, saying that such actions cannot be interpreted as anything but “war preparations.”
They also drew attention to the fact that the US troops are being transferred through the territory of the former East Germany, thus violating the spirit of the 1990 ‘2+4’ agreement that facilitated Germany’s reunification on condition that no foreign troops or nuclear weapons would be deployed or stationed there.
A stockpile of 20 US nuclear bombs at the Buehel airbase in western Germany also came in for criticism from the MPs, who found the possibility of these weapons being used by the German Air Forces “in case of emergency” quite disturbing.
[The American military] presence is incompatible with the peace principle enshrined in the constitution.
The Basic Law, as it is called in Germany, indeed states that “acts tending to and undertaken with intent to disturb the peaceful relations between nations, especially to prepare for a war of aggression, shall be unconstitutional.”
Yet, Berlin apparently is not planning to get rid of the American forces on its soil just yet. The 2020 federal budget shows that the German taxpayer would have to spend €71 million ($78.72 million) on the upkeep of the US and other foreign forces stationed on its territory.
Washington, however, believes this is not enough. In August, two American ambassadors, Georgette Mosbacher in Warsaw and Richard Grenell in Berlin, have hinted that the US was so angry with Berlin not spending enough on defense that it may relocate its forces to neighboring Poland.
“It’s really insulting to expect the US taxpayers to keep paying for over 50,000 Americans in Germany,” Grenell told DPA news agency at that time. The remark sparked quite a stir among German politicians, with Dietmar Bartsch, an MP from the Left Party, saying that American should indeed pull out and take their nukes with them.
Ordinary Germans also do not seem to be particularly scared of the US troops suddenly stripping them of their “protection” as most said that a withdrawal from Germany of American forces would not make them any less secure, according to an August survey.
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