90 Miles From Tyranny : US ambassador threatens to withdraw troops from Germany

Sunday, August 11, 2019

US ambassador threatens to withdraw troops from Germany

The American ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has threatened Germany with a partial withdrawal of US troops.

BERLIN: “It’s really offensive to expect US taxpayers to continue to pay more than 50 000 Americans in Germany, but Germans use their trade surplus for domestic purposes,” Grenell told dpa.

In recent months, the dispute between Berlin and Washington over defense spending by the German Federal government has worsened further. The US government insists on compliance with the NATO two-percent target.

This would mean that Germany would have to spend two percent of its gross domestic product on defense. Currently spending is at 1,2 percent.

Earlier, the US ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, had demanded a transfer of the soldiers to Poland. “Poland meets its obligation to pay two percent of GDP against NATO. Germany does not do that. We would like it if American troops came to Poland from Germany,” she wrote on Twitter.

Only last week, the Federal government rejected an American request for participation in a US mission in the Persian Gulf. As the target of the operation, the Americans called for the protection of oil tankers against the Iranian Navy.

Political parties across the spectrum complained about Grenell’s statements, which were “completely inappropriate” among allies, said the first parliamentary director of the SPD parliamentary group, Carsten Schneider.

In March, Bundestag Vice-President Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) had already sharply rebuked Grenell for his criticism of the budget planning of the Federal government and even brought the expulsion of the ambassador into play.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) should declare Grenell “Persona non immediately,” Kubicki told the news agency AFP.

Grenell is behaving, “as if the United States still occupying power here,” lamented the FDP politician. But Germany is “a sovereign country”. He added: “It should not be allowed to give the impression that the ambassadors of...


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