Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jon Stone / The Independent & Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams / The Ron Paul Institute – 2018-07-13 00:29:43
Poll Shows Germans Want
US Troops to Withdraw From Germany
Voters also say Germany spending
too much on its military as it is
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(July 11, 2018) — A new poll for the DPA news agency is showing German voters are growing resistant to the current level of spending on the military in their country, as well as the number of US troops that Germany is playing host to.
The poll shows that, even as officials fret President Trump threatening to pull US troops out of Germany, voters would welcome the US departure, with only a hair over a third of the Germans wanting US soldiers to stay. 35,000 US troops are currently in Germany.
Taken along party lines, Germans on both the left and the right were the heaviest supporters of the US withdrawal, with Die Linke voters overwhelmingly backing the idea. The ruling Christian Democrats are the least strongly in favor of the pullout.
Germans are not just sick of foreign troops, either. The poll showed strong resistance to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s call to spend 2% of Germany’s GDP on the military. Only 15% of Germans support that idea.
Indeed, not only did an overwhelming majority say that 2% is too much for Germany to spend, some 36% of Germans say that the nation’s current military spending, about 1.2% or $44.3 billion, is already too much as it is.
1.2% is at the low end of percentages for NATO members, but Germany’s massive economy means even that is enough to make them one of the top 10 spending militaries on the planet. Since Germany is friendly with every nation it borders, there is a strong case to be made that a lot of this spending is extraneous.
Since World War 2, Germany has committed itself heavily to developing a culture averse to large military spending and overseas campaigns. This has been a very good move, turning them into the economic powerhouse of Europe.
But as the US is finding out, this anti-militarist culture is entrenched enough that US pushes to dramatically increase spending are a tough sell to the ruling coalition, and completely unpalatable to the public at large. Germans don’t want a huge military, and the threat to withdraw US forces is no threat at all, as many would just as soon they left in the first place.
Germans Want Donald Trump to Pull US Troops Out of Germany, Poll Finds
Jon Stone / The Independent
BRUSSELS (July 11, 2018) — Germans would actually welcome the withdrawal of American troops stationed in their country, a new poll has found — as Donald Trump threatens to pull the plug on military support.
The finding comes on the first day of a Nato summit in which the US president is urging Europe to spend more on defense if it wants to continue to receive American military protection.
But far from being seen as a threat, a YouGov poll for the dpa news agency found that more Germans would welcome the departure of the 35,000-strong American force than would oppose it.
42 percent said they supported withdrawal while just 37 percent wanted the soldiers to stay, with 21 percent undecided.
Last month the US media reported that the US government was in the process of assessing the cost of keeping troops in Germany ahead of a possible withdrawal, citing Pentagon sources.
But the policy of actually pulling out of the country has not actually reached the negotiating table in his week’s Brussels summit and is not expected to be discussed as a possibility — for now.
The cause of US withdrawal enjoys significant support from across the political spectrum in Germany but is particularly strong with the supporters of certain parties.
Voters for the left-wing Die Linke are particularly in favor of withdrawal, with 67 percent backing it, as are supporters of the far-right AfD, on 55 percent. Greens also back withdrawal by 48 percent.
Less supportive of withdrawal are voters for the centre-right CDU, at 35 percent, the SPD at 42 percent, and the FDP at 37 percent.
The same poll also found significant opposition to militarism in general in the country. Just 15 percent of all Germans agree with Angela Merkel that the country should increase its military spending to 2 percent of GDP by 2024, with 36 percent saying the country’s already spends too much on its military.
Mr Trump warned Angela Merkel and other European leaders in leaked letters last month that there was “growing frustration in the United States that some allies have not stepped up as promised” on defense spending.
“The United States continues to devote more resources to the defense of Europe when the Continent’s economy, including Germany’s, are doing well and security challenges abound. This is no longer sustainable for us,” he said.
US Representative to Nato Kay Bailey Hutchison has however struck a softer tone ahead of the Brussels meeting, stating ahead of the summit that “every one of our allies are already increasing defense spending”.
US troops have been stationed in Germany since the Second World War and the country has the second largest military presence after Japan, which has also been home to US bases since the same conflict.
There are between 30 and 40 US military bases in Germany, a significant reduction from the 200-300 that were located there until the end of the cold war.
Trump Hammers NATO.
Good! Let’s Get Out!
Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams / The Ron Paul Institute & AntiWar.com
(July 11, 2018) — President Trump is making waves as he arrives in Europe for the NATO summit. Chiding Germany for benefitting from US protection against Russia while buying billions of dollars worth of Russian oil, he has captured the duplicity of European leaders. But the solution is not to browbeat them to spend more on their militaries. It’s to shut down NATO once and for all.
More in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.
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