The Pentagon is analyzing the costs and implications of a large-scale retreat or deployment of US troops stationed in Germany, with tensions between President Donald Trump and Chancellor Angela Merkel mounting, according to people familiar with the work.
Efforts follow Trump's expression of interest in removing the troops hit with the White House and military aides earlier this year, US officials said. Trump is astounded by the size of the US presence, which includes some 35,000 active soldiers, and complains that other countries do not fairly contribute to common security or pay enough for NATO. Emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 157 & lang = DE EU officials are worried when they want to find out if Trump wants to reposition US forces or if it just wants to Negotiating tactics before a NATO summit in Brussels, where Trump is likely to criticize the US associations again
US officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to comment on the unpublished efforts, emphasized that the exercise was geared towards one limited internal investigation of options. The top military are not yet involved, and the Pentagon does not have the job of figuring out how to run any option.
A National Security Council spokesman in the White House said in a statement that the NSC had not asked for an analysis by the Department of Defense to reposition troops in Germany. But "the Pentagon continues to assess US troop deployments," the statement said, and such "analysis exercises" are "not outside the norm."
Several officials suggested that the Pentagon's policymakers pushed ahead with the evaluation to prove the value The 1
"The Pentagon regularly reviews the attitude of the armed forces and conducts cost-benefit analyzes," he said in a statement. This is nothing new. Germany hosts the largest US presence in Europe – we remain deeply rooted in the shared values and strong relationships between our countries. We remain fully committed to our NATO Alliance and NATO Alliance.
Since the end of the Second World War, the US troop presence in Germany is seen as a bulwark against a possible Russian invasion of Europe and as a base for the United States. V3.espacenet.com/textdoc? html […] […] […] […] […] […] […] […] […] […] […] said a cost analysis of employee change options initiated a broader discussion on the presence of US troops in Europe. The United States has drastically reduced its troop levels in Germany from the cost of the Cold War and the cost and justification lowered for their troops around the world.
But continued doubts in Europe about Trump's commitment to the Alliance have even brought about the possibility of routine change
Implementation scenarios under study include a large-scale return of US-based US troops. Troops in the US and an enforcement partial movement of US troops in Germany after Poland – a NATO ally that has achieved the Alliance's defense spending and whose leadership is better suited to Trump.
In recent months, Poland has proposed at least $ 2 billion for permanent employment US base. The US military already has a rotating force in Poland, while other Allies in the Baltic States are doing the same to prevent Russia's increasing aggression along the eastern flank of the Alliance (19659002) unit at the NATO summit on the 11th and 12th . July. Trump continues to be dissatisfied that many NATO countries spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense, a target alliance to be achieved by 2024. The United States spends about 3.58 percent of its GDP on defense.
Although several US administrations have asked Europe to spend more, Trump is focusing particularly on the balance sheet. He was particularly critical of Merkel, the defense and a number of other issues.
Last week, the White House's frustration was evident in a contentious Washington meeting between Trump's national security adviser John Bolton and German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. Von der Leyen said the German budget projections called for an increase in defense spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2024. The White House was disappointed by Germany's efforts, officials said.
A senior NATO official said neither the Alliance headquarters nor the individual Member governments were informed of any Trump plans that would address the issue of withdrawal or repositioning of US troops in Europe at the summit, although all were aware of Polish lobbying are to place at least some components there. The official talked about the condition of anonymity to discuss a member government ahead of the summit.
The official said that Poland's offer is "peanuts in comparison" to US military investment in Germany, including "the value of 60 years of sunk costs in facilities such as the Landstuhl military health complex and the Ramstein Air Base.
NATO Officials and others suggested that the cost analysis of the US presence in Germany and an opt-out to Trump's leaked request last winter for military options recall with North Korea going to war, designed to "scare anyone's life and [North Korea] "In this case, the official said, the goal could be to" inflict more trouble "on Merkel while generally rattling the Alliance and positioning himself as a summit spoiler.
US allies, the permanent American military imprints For example, pay for a certain part of the costs in different ways, for example Japan and South Korea Cash deposits, according to a study from 2013, which Rand Corp. While Germany has prepared for the presence of US troops through benefits such as land, infrastructure and construction in addition to the waived tariffs and taxes.
The study estimated the data from 2002 to be an estimated 33 percent of the cost of the US military stationed there. It is unclear how much would be saved by bringing everyone home, because the United States would still be responsible for paying them, in addition to housing and other personnel costs. At the same time, a large proportion of American troops in Germany are involved in the efforts of the US military outside Europe and are setting up operations in the nation.
The US military had reduced its presence in Europe for years prior to the annexation of Russia for years. In early 2014, Crimea from neighboring Ukraine caused a change of attitude, with Washington wishing to deter Moscow from further attacks. The US and Allied forces began to make brigades through the Eastern members, and the US began returning equipment such as tanks and helicopters to the theater.
Trump's contempt for the alliance, which he had declared "obsolete" during his presidential campaign, was clearly focused on Germany, and in particular on Merkel, including the recent tweets stating that she lost power at home.
Bolton met with von der Leyen, and his emphasis on the final result came more than a year after Trump tweeted in March 2017 that Germany owes "huge sums to NATO and the US needs more for the powerful and very expensive Defense that Germany offers to be paid! "
Trump's Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has also been brushing off Feders, who is calling on a conservative news agency this month to "strengthen" European rights – a remark that some European governments consider threatening.
The upper house democrats approved a letter this week Republican Seth Moulton, D-Mass., Called on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to dismiss Grenell. A US State Department official confirmed receipt of the letter, but did not comment on its content.
When Trump lashed out at NATO, he described this year's Group 7 summit in Canada as "worse than NAFTA," which also denounced the trilateral trade agreement-allies were comforted by the support of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and partially by Pompeo.
At a Senate hearing on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' budget on Wednesday, Pompeo spoke of "strong, unified Atlantic unity, even as" we have urged them to increase their willingness to support the NATO forces. "
Pompeio added to the confusion of the American Embassy at a time when Trump promotes better relations with Russia Moscow, imposed on the annexation of the Crimea.
"It is time for them to be so interested in how we are going against Russia" and "to convince them that the sanctions regime is important results that are in the best interests of Europe," Pompeo said.
While Trump ponders why the alliance continues to marginalize Russia over Crimea and passes on the proposal to include Russia in the G-7, Pompeo reiterated that we reject the "Russian occupation of Crimea and Georgia and the government recognizes it." The threat posed by Moscow to Eastern Europe. " The United States under Trump had increased its resources for the rotating NATO forces in the Baltic States and Poland. "I think this government is clearly ruthless towards Russia," said Pompeo. "I think that's indisputable."
The Pentagon's analysis in Europe is based on the fact that relations between Trump and Europe over its decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports initiate "tit-for-tat" measures and withdraw after the nuclear agreement with the Iran has been considered a pact in Europe as a model for peaceful conflict resolution. The President's decision to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on 16 July brings a new twist to his trip to Europe, which includes a stopover in London.
Among the statements about the unity and indispensability of NATO – and the alarm bells Trump – the alliance is probably undergoing a tectonic change, and Trump could be as much his manifestation as his cause. Having lost its original cause for the end of the Cold War, it found new foundations for its existence during the Balkan wars of the 1990s, followed by a focus on Afghanistan and counter-terrorism. The resurgence of Russia as a threatening force in Europe has recently given the alliance a new purpose.
But the question of where the Western Defense Pact fits into a 21st century in which Europeans disagree with each other and with the US In relation to economic, trade and immigration issues, where the world is undergoing a fundamental reorientation As Asia has risen, some have begun to think about a new agreement.
Washington Post's Missy Ryan and Greg Jaffe contributed to this report.